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APR 1 ' 




An artificial language may be more regular, more perfect, and 
easier to learn than a natural one. MAX MULLER. 

THE world is spinning fast down the grooves of change. 
The old disorder changeth. Haply it is yielding place to 
new. The tongue is a little member. It should no longer 
be allowed to divide the nations. 

Two things stand out in the swift change. Science with 
all its works is spreading to all lands. The East, led by 
Japan, is coming into line with the West. 

Standardization of life may fittingly be accompanied by 
standardization of language. The effect may be twofold 
Practical and Ideal. 

Practical, The World has a thousand tongues, 

Science but one : 

They'll climb up a thousand rungs 
When Babel's done. 

Ideal. Mankind has a thousand tongues, 

Friendship but one : 
Banzai! then from heart and lungs 
For the Rising Sun. 

W. J. C. 

NOTE. The following pages have had the advantage 
of being read in MS. by Mr. H. Bolingbroke Mudie, and 
I am indebted to him for many corrections and suggestions. 


NOTE. To avoid repeating the cumbrous phrase "international 
auxiliary language," the word auxiliary is usually omitted. It must 
be clearly understood that when "international" or "universal" 
language is spoken of, auxiliary is also implied. 


I. Introductory I 

II. The Question of Principle Economic Advantage of 

an International Language ..... 4 

III. The Question of Practice An International Language 

is Possible 8 

IV. The Question of Practice (continued) An International 

Language is Easy A 6. 

V. The Question of Practice (continued} The Introduction 
of an International Language would not cause 
Dislocation 24 

VI. International Action already taken for the Introduction 

of an Auxiliary Language 26 

VII. Can the International Language be Latin? ... 33 
VIII. Can the International Language be Greek ? . . 35 

IX. Can the International Language be a Modern 

Language? 36 

X. Can the Evolution of an International Language be 
left to the Process of Natural Selection by Free 
Competition? , .38 



XI. Objections to an International Language on Aesthetic 

Grounds ........ 40 

XII. Will an International Language discourage the Study 
of Modern Languages, and thus be Detrimental to 
Culture ? Parallel with the Question of Com- 
pulsory Greek 46 

XIII. Objection to an International Language on the Ground 

that it will soon split up into Dialects ... 49 

XIV. Objection that the Present International Language 

(Esperanto) is too Dogmatic, and refuses to 

profit by Criticism 51 

XV. Summary of Objections to an International Language. 53 

XVI. The Wider Cosmopolitanism The Coming of Asia . 57 

XVII. Importance of an International Language for the Blind 61 

XVIII. Ideal v. Practical 63 

XIX. Literary v. Commercial 65 

XX. Is an International Language a Crank's Hobby ? . .70 

XXI. What an International Language is not ... 73 

XXII. What an International Language is .... (73) 


I. Some Existing International Languages already in 

Partial Use 74 

II. Outline of History of the Idea of a Universal Language 

List of Schemes proposed .... 76 

III. The Earliest British Attempt . . . . . 87 

IV. History of Volapiik a Warning 92 

V, History of Idiom Neutral 98 



VI. The Newest Languages: a Neo-Latin Group Grop- 
ings towards a "Pan-European" Amalgamated 

Scheme 103 

__^ VII. History of Esperanto f$ 

Present State of Esperanto: (a) General ; () in England 121 
IX. Lessons to be drawn from the Foregoing History . 131 



* I. Esperanto is scientifically constructed, and fulfils the 

Natural Tendency in Evolution of Language 135 

II. Esperanto from an Educational Point of View It will 
aid the learning of other Languages and stimu- 
late Intelligence 

III. Comparative Tables illustrating Labour saved in learn- 

ing Esperanto as contrasted with other Languages : 

(a) Word-building ; () Participles and Auxiliaries 155 

IV. How Esperanto can be used as a Code Language to 

communicate with Persons who have never learnt it 161 



Note 165 

I. Pronunciation 166 

1 1 . Specimens of Esperanto : 

1. Parolado 167 

2. La Marbordistoj 168 

3. Nesaga Gento : Alegorio , f . , .168 



III. Grammar 189 

IV. List of Affixes 191- 

V. Table of Correlative Words 193 . 

VI. Vocabulary 194 


Sample Problems (see Part III., chap, ii.) in Regular Language 200 


Esperanto Hymn by Dr. Zamenhof 202 


The Letter c in Esperanto 204 




IN dealing with the problem of the introduction of an international 
language, we are met on the threshold by two main questions : 

1. The question of principle. 

2. The question of practice. 

By the question of principle is meant, Is it desirable to have 
a universal language ? do we wish for one ? in short, is there a 
demand ? 

The question of practice includes the inquiries, Is such a 
language possible ? is it easy ? would its introduction be fraught 
with prohibitive difficulties ? and the like. 

It is clear that, however possible or easy it may be to do a 
thing, there is no case for doing it unless it is wanted ; therefore 
the question of principle must be taken first. In the case before 
us the question of principle involves many considerations 
aesthetic, political, social, even religious. These will be glanced 
at in their proper place ; but for our present purpose they are all 
subordinate to the one great paramount consideration the 
economic one. In the world of affairs experience shows that, 
given a demand of any kind whatever, as between an economical 
method of supplying that demand and a non-economical method, 
in the long run the economical method will surely prevail. 



If, then, it can be shown that there is a growing need for 
means of international communication, and that a unilingual 
solution is more economical than a multilingual one, there is good 
ground for thinking that the unilingual method of transacting 
international affairs will surely prevail. It then becomes a 
question of time and method : When will men feel the pressure 
of the demand sufficiently strongly to set about supplying it ? and 
what means will they adopt ? 

The time and the method are by no means indifferent. Though 
a demand (for what is possible) is sure, in the long run, to get 
itself supplied, a long period of wasteful and needless groping 
may be avoided by a clear-sighted and timely realization of the 
demand, and by consequent organized co-operation in supplying 
it. Intelligent anticipation sometimes helps events to occur. It 
is the object of this book to call attention to the present state 
of affairs, and to emphasize the fact that the time is now ripe 
for dealing with the question, and the present moment pro- 
pitious for solving the problem once for all in an orderly way. The 
merest glance at the list of projects for a universal language* 
and their dates will strengthen the conviction from an historical 
point of view that the fulness of time is accomplished, while the 
history of the rise and fall of Volapiik and of the extraordinary 
rise of Esperanto, in spite of its precursor's failure, are exceedingly 

One language has been born, come to maturity, and died of 
dissension, and the world stood by indifferent. Another is now 
in the first full flush of youth and strength. After twenty-nine 
years of daily developing cosmopolitanism years that have 
witnessed the rising of a new star in the East and an uninterrupted 
growth of interchange of ideas between the nations of the earth, 
whether in politics, literature, or science, without a single check 
to the ever-rising tide of internationalism are we again to let the 
favourable moment pass unused, just for want of making up our 
minds ? At present one language holds the field. It is well 
* See pp. 78-87. 


organized ; it has abundant enthusiastic partisans accustomed to 
communicate and transact their common business in it, and only 
too anxious to show the way to others. If it be not officially 
adopted and put under the regulation of a duly constituted inter- 
national authority, it may wither away or split into factions as 
Volapiik did.* Or it may continue to grow and flourish, but 
others of its numerous rivals maj^gcure^ adherents and dispute 
its claim. This would be even worse. It is farjiarder tp_ rally a 
multitude of conflicting rivals in^he same camp, than it is to take- 
over a well-organized, homogeneous, and efficient volunteer force, 
legalize its position, and raise it to the status of a regular army. 
In any case, if ho concerted action be taken, the question will 
remain in a state of chaos, and the lack of official organization 
brings a great risk of overlapping, dissension, and creation of rival 
interests, and generally produces a state of affairs calculated to 
postpone indefinitely the supply of the demand. Competition 
that neither tends to keep down the price nor to improve the 
quality of the thing produced is mere dissipation of energy. 
vln a word, the one thing needful at present is not a more highly 
perfected language to adopt, but the adoption of the highly 
perfected one we possess) By the admission of experts, no less 
than by the practical experience of great numbers of persons in 
using it over a number of years, it has been found adequate. 
Once found adequate, its absolute utility merely depends upon 
universal adoption. 

With utility in direct proportion to numbers of adherents, 
every recruit augments its value a thought which may well 
encourage waverers to make the slight effort necessary to at any 
rate learn to read it. 

* Esperanto itself is admirably organized (see p. 119), and there are no 
factions or symptoms of dissension. But Esperantists need official support 
and recognition. 




As stated above, the question of principle will be treated here 
from a purely economical point of view, sincefpractical value, 
measured by saving of time, money, and effort, must be the 
ultimate criterion by which the success or failure of so far- 
reaching a reform as the introduction of an international, 
auxiliary language will be decided. The bearing of such a 
reform upon education, culture, race supremacy, etc., is not 
without importance ; but the discussion of these points must 
be postponed as subsidiary. > 

Reduced to its simplest form, the economical argument is 

(1) The volume of international intercourse is great and 

(2) This intercourse is at present carried on in many different 
languages of varying degrees of difficulty, but all relatively hard 
of acquisition for those who do not know them as a mother- 
tongue. This is uneconomical. 

(3) It is economically sounder to carry on international 
intercourse in one easy language than in a large number of 
hard ones. 

(4) Therefore in principle an easy international language is 

Let us glance at these four points a little more in detail. 

No. i surely needs no demonstration. (Every year there is 
more communication between men of different race and language. 
And it is not business, in the narrow sense of the term, that 
is exclusively or even chiefly affected by diversity of language. 
Besides the enormous bulk of pleasure travel, international 
congresses are growing in number and importance') municipal 
fraternization is the latest fashion, and many a worthy alderman, 


touring at the ratepayers' expense, must wish that he had some 
German in Berlin, or a little Italian in Milan. Indeed, it is 
at these points of international contact that language is a real 
bar, actually preventing much intercourse that would otherwise 
have taken place, rather than in business, which is organized in 
view of the difficulty. Then there is the whole realm of 
scientific and learned literature work of which the accessibility 
to all concerned is of the first importance, but is often hindered 
because a translation into one language does not pay, or, if 
made, only reaches a limited public. Such bars to freedom 
of interchange cannot be reckoned in money; but modern 
economics recognizes the personal and social factor, and any 
obstacle to research is certainly a public loss. 

But important as are these various spheres of action, an even 
wider international contact of thought and feeling is springing 
up in our days. Democracy, science, and universal education 
are producing everywhere similarity of institutions, of industry, 
of the whole organization of life. Similarity of life will breed 
community of interests, and from this arises real conversemore 
give and take in the things that matter, less purely superficial 
dealings of the guide-book or conversation-manual type. 

(2) " Business," meaning commerce, in so far as it is inter- 
national, may at present be carried on mainly in half a dozen 
of the principal languages of Western Europe. Even so, their 
multiplicity is vexatious. But outside the world of business 
other languages are entering the field, and striving for equal 
rights. The tendency is all towards self-assertion on the part 
of the nationalities that are beginning a new era of national 
life and importance. The language difficulty in the Austrian 
Empire reflects the growing self-consciousness of the Magyars. 
^Everywhere where young peoples are pushing their rights to 
take equal rank among the nations of the world, the language 
question is put in the forefront) The politicians of Ireland and 
Wales have realized the importance of language in asserting 
nationality, but such engineered language-agitation offers but 


a feeble reflex of the vitality of the question in lands where the 
native language is as much in use for all purposes as is English 
in England. These lands will fight harder and harder against 
the claims to supremacy of a handful of Western intruders. 
A famous foreign philologist,* in a report on the subject pre- 
sented to the Academy of Vienna, notes the increasing tendency 
of Russian to take rank among the recognized languages for 
purposes of polite learning. He is well placed to observe. tWith 
Russia knocking at the door and Hungary waiting to storm the 
breach, what tongue may not our descendants of the next century 
have to learn, under pain of losing touch with important currents 
of thought ? It is high time something were done to standardize 
means of transmission. Owing to political conditions, there 
are linguistically disintegrating forces at work, which are at 
variance with the integrating forces of natural tendency! 

From an economical point of view, a considerable amount of 
time, effort, and money must be unreproductively invested in 
overcoming the " language difficulty." In money alone the 
amount must run into thousands of pounds yearly. Among the 
unreproductive investments are the employment of foreign 
correspondence clerks, the time and money spent upon the 
installation of educational plant for their production, the time 
and money spent upon translations and interpreters for the 
proceedings of international conferences and negotiations, the 
time devoted by professors and other researchers (often non- 
linguists in virtue of their calling) to deciphering special treatises 
and learned periodicals in languages not their own.t 

* Prof. Shuchardt. 

f These are some of the actual visible losses owing to the presence of the 
language difficulty. No one can estimate the value of the losses entailed by 
the absence of free intercourse due to removable linguistic barriers. Potential 
(but at present non-realized) extension of goodwill, swifter progress, and wider 
knowledge represent one side of their value ; while consequent non-realized 
increase in volume of actual business represents their value in money. The 
negative statement of absence of results from intercourse that never took place 
affords no measure of positive results obtainable under a better system. 


The tendency of those engaged in advancing material progress, 
which consists in the subjection of nature to man's ends, is to 
adapt more and more quickly their methods to changing con- 
ditions. Has the world yet faced in a business-like spirit the 
problem of wiping out wastage on words ? 

Big industrial concerns scrap machinery while it is yet perfectly 
capable of running and turning out good work, in order to replace 
it by newer machinery, capable of turning out more work in the 
same time. Time is money. Can the busy world afford a language 
difficulty ? 

(3) The proposition that it is economically sounder to carry on 

(international intercourse in one easy language than in a large 

number of hard ones rests upon the principle that it does not pay 

to do a thing a hard way, if the same results can be produced by 

an easy way;) 

The whole industrial revolution brought about by the invention 
of machinery depended upon this principle. Since an artificial 
language, like machinery, is a means invented by man of furthering 
his ends, there seems to be no abuse of analogy in comparing 

When it was found that machinery would turn out a hundred 
pieces of cloth while the hand-loom turned out one, the hand- 
loom was doomed, except in so far as it may serve other ends, 
antiquarian, aesthetic, or artistic, which are not equally well served 
by machinery. Similarly, to take another revolution which is 
going on in our own day through a further application of 
machinery, when it is found that corn can be reaped and threshed 
by machinery, that hay can be cut, made, carried, and stacked by 
machinery, that man can travel the high road by machinery, sooner 
or later machinery is bound to get the bulk of the job, because it 
produces the same results at greater speed and less cost. So, in 
the field of international intercourse, if an easy artificial language 
can with equal efficiency and at less cost produce the same results 
as a multiplicity of natural ones, in many lines of human activity, 
and making all reserves in matters antiquarian, aesthetic, and 


artistic, sooner or later the multiplicity will have to go to the 
scrap-heap * as cumbrous and out of date. It may be a hundred 
years ; it may be fifty ; it may be even twenty. Almost certainly 
the irresistible trend of economic pressure will work its will and 
insist that what has to be done shall be, done in the most 
economical way. 

So much, then, for the question of principle. In treating it, 
certain large assumptions have been made ; e.g. it is said above, 
" if an easy artificial language can with equal efficiency . . . 
produce the same results," etc. Here it is assumed that the 
artificial language is (i) easy, and (2) that it is possible for it 
to produce the same results. Again, however easy and possible, 
its introduction might cost more than it saved. These are 
questions of fact, and are treated in the three following chapters 
under the heading of " The Question of Practice." 




THE man who says a thing is impossible without troubling to find 
out whether it has been done is merely "talking through his hat," 
to use an Americanism, and we need not waste much time on 
him. Any one, who maintains that it is impossible to transact 
the ordinary business of life and write lucid treatises on scientific 
and other subjects in an artificial language, is simply in the 
position of the French engineer, who gave a full scientific demon- 
stration of the fact that an engine could not possibly travel by 

The plain fact is that not only one artificial language, but 

* But only, of course, in those lines in which an international auxiliary 
language can produce equally good results. This excludes home use, 
national literature, philology, scholarly study of national languages, etc. 


several, already exist, which not only can express, but already 
have expressed all the ideas current in social intercourse, business, 
and serious exposition. It is only necessary to state the facts 

First Volapiik. 

Three congresses were held in all for the promotion of this 
language. The third (Paris, 1889) was the most important. It 
was attended by Volapiikists from many different nations, who 
carried on all their business in Volapiik, and found no difficulty 
in understanding one another. Besides this, there were a great 
many newspapers published in Volapiik, which treated of all 
kinds of subjects. 

Secondly Idiom Neutral, the lineal descendant of Volapiik. 

It is regulated by an international academy, which sends round 
circulars and does all its business in Idiom Neutral. 

Thirdly Esperanto* 

jSince the publication of the language in 1887 it has had a 
gradually increasing number of adherents, who have used it for 
all ordinary purposes of communication. A great number of 
newspapers and reviews of all kinds are now published regularly 
in Esperanto in a great variety of countries^ I take up a chance 
number of the Internada Scienca Revuo, which happens to be on 
my table, and find the following subjects among the contents 
of the month : " Role of living beings in the general physiology 
of the earth," "The carnivorous animals of Sweden," "The 
part played by heredity in the etiology of chronic nephritis," 
" The migration of the lemings," " Notices of books," " Notes and 
correspondence," etc. In fact, the Review has all the appearance 
of an ordinary scientific periodical, and the articles are as clearly 
expressed and as easy to read as those in any similar review in 
a national language. 

Even more convincing perhaps, for the uninitiated, is the 
evidence afforded by the International Congresses of Esper- 
antists. The first was held at Boulogne in August 1905. It 
marked an epoch in the lives of many of the participants, whose 


doubts as to the practical nature of an artificial language there, 
for good and all, yielded to the logic of facts ; and it may well be 
that it will some day be rather an outstanding landmark in the 
history of civilization. A brief description will, therefore, not 
be out of place. 

In the little seaport town on the north coast of France had 
come together men and women of more than twenty different 
races. Some were experts, some were beginners ; but all save 
a very few must have been alike in this, that they had learnt their 
Esperanto at home, and, as far as oral use went, had only been 
able to speak it (if at all) with members of their own national 
groups that is, with compatriots who had acquired the language 
under the same conditions as to pronunciation, etc., as themselves. 
Experts and beginners, those who from practical experience knew 
the great possibilities of the new tongue as a written medium, no 
less than the neophytes and tentative experimenters who had 
come to see whether the thing was worth taking seriously, they 
were now to make the decisive trial in the one case to test the 
faith that was in them, in the other to set all doubt at rest in one 
sense or the other for good and all. 

The town theatre had been generously placed at the disposal of 
the Congress, and the author of the language, Dr. Zamenhof, had 
left his eye-patients at Warsaw and come to preside at the coming 
out of his kara lingvo, now well on in her 'teens, and about 
to leave the academic seclusion of scholastic use and emerge 
into the larger sphere of social and practical activity. 

On Saturday evening, August 5, at eight o'clock, the Boulogne 
Theatre was packed with a cosmopolitan audience. The unique 
assembly was pervaded by an indefinable feeling of expectancy ; 
as in the lull before the thunderstorm, there was the hush of 
excitement, the tense silence charged with the premonition of 
some vast force about to be let loose on the world. After a 
few preliminaries, there was a really dramatic moment when 
Dr. Zamenhof stood up for the first time to address his world- 
audience in the world-tongue. Would they understand him ? 


Was their hope about to be justified ? or was it all a chimera, 
" such stuff as dreams are made on " ? 

" Gesinjoroj " ( = Ladies and gentlemen) the great audience 
craned forward like one man, straining eyes and ears towards the 
speaker, " Kun granda plezuro mi akceptis la proponon ..." 
The crowd drank in the words with an almost pathetic agony 
of anxiety. Gradually, as the clear-cut sentences poured forth 
in a continuous stream of perfect lucidity, and the audience 
realized that they were all listening to and all understanding a 
really international speech in a really international tongue a 
tongue which secured to them, as here in Boulogne so throughout 
the world, full comprehension and a sense of comradeship and 
fellow-citizenship on equal terms with all users of it the anxiety 
gave way to a scene of wild enthusiasm. Men shook hands with 
perfect strangers, and all cheered and cheered again. Zamenhof 
finished with a solemn declamation of one of his hymns (given 
as an appendix to this volume, with translation), embodying the 
lofty ideal which has inspired him all through and sustained him 
through the many difficulties he has had to face. When he came 
to the end, the fine passage beginning with the words, " Ni inter 
popoloj la murojn detruos " (" we shall throw down the walls 
between the peoples "), and ending " amo kaj vero ekregos sur 
tero " (" love and truth shall begin their reign on earth "), the 
whole concourse rose to their feet with prolonged cries of " Vivu 
Zamenhof ! " 

No doubt this enthusiasm may sound rather forced and unreal 
to those who have not attended a congress, and the cheers may 
ring hollow across intervening time and space. Neither would it 
be good for this or any movement to rely upon facile enthusiasm, 
as easily damped as aroused. There is something far more than 
this in the international language movement. 

At the same time, it is impossible for any one who has not tried 
it to realize the thrill not a weak, sentimental thrill, but a reason- 
able thrill, starting from objective fact and running down the 
marrow of things given by the first real contact with an 


international language in an international setting. There really 
is a feeling as of a new power born into the world. 

Those who were present at the Geneva Congress, 1906, will 
not soon forget the singing of the song "La Espero " at the 
solemn closing of the week's proceedings. The organ rolled out 
the melody, and when the gathered thousands that thronged the 
floor of the hall and packed the galleries tier on tier to the ceiling 
took up the opening phrase 

En la mondon venis nova sento, 
Tra la mondo iras forta voko,* 

they meant every word of it. It was a fitting summary of the 
impressions left by the events of the week, and what the lips 
uttered must have been in the hearts and minds of all. 

As an ounce of personal experience is worth a pound of 
second-hand recital, a brief statement may here be given of the 
way in which the present writer came to take up Esperanto, and 
of the experiences which soon led him to the conviction of its 
absolute practicability and utility. 

In October, 1905, having just returned from an absence of 
some years in Canada and the Far East, he had his attention 
turned to Esperanto for the first time by reading an account 
of the Congress of Boulogne. He had no previous knowledge of, 
or leanings towards, a universal language ; and if he had thought 
about it at all, it was only to laugh at the idea as a wild and 
visionary scheme. In short, his attitude was quite normal. 

But here was a definite statement, professing to be one of 
positive accomplished fact. One of two things : either the news- 
paper account was not true ; or else, the facts being as represented, 
here was a new possibility to be reckoned with. The only course 
was to send for the books and test the thing on its merits. 
Being somewhat used to languages, he did not take long to see 
that this one was good enough in itself. A letter, written in 

* Into the world has come a new feeling, 
Through the world goes a mighty call. 


Esperanto, after a few days' study of the grammar at odd times, 
with a halfpenny Esperanto-English key enclosed, was fully under- 
stood by the addressee, though he was ignorant up till then of 
the very existence of Esperanto. This experience has often been 
since repeated ; indeed, the correspondent will often write back 
after a few days in Esperanto. Such letters have always been 
found intelligible, though in no case did the correspondent know 
Esperanto previously. The experiment is instructive and amusing, 
and can be tried by any one for an expenditure of twopence for 
keys and a few hours for studying the sixteen rules and their 
application. To many minds these are far simpler and more 
easy to grasp for practical use than the rules for scoring at 

After a month or two's playing with the language in spare time, 
the writer further tested it, by sending out a flight of postcards to 
various selected Esperantists' addresses in different parts of the 
Russian Empire. The addressees ranged from St. Petersburg and 
Helsingfors through Poland to the Caucasus and to far Siberia. 
In nearly every case answers were received, and in some 
instances the initial interchange of postcards led to an extremely 
interesting correspondence, throwing much light on the disturbed 
state of things in the native town or province of the correspondent. 
From a Tiflis doctor came a graphic account of the state of affairs 
in the Caucasus ; while a school inspector from the depths of 
Eastern Siberia painted a vivid picture of the effect of political 
unrest on the schools lockouts and "malodorous chemical 
obstructions" (Anglice the schools were stunk out). Many 
writers expressed themselves with great freedom, but feared their 
letters would not pass the censor. Judging by the proportion 
of answers received, the censorship was not at that time efficient. 
In no case was there any difficulty in grasping the writer's meaning. 
All the answers were in Esperanto. 

This was fairly convincing, but still having doubts on the 
question of pronunciation, the writer resolved to attend the 
Esperanto Congress to be held at Geneva in August 1906. To 


this end he continued to read Esperanto at odd minutes and 
took in an Esperanto gazette. About three weeks before the 
congress he got a member of his family to read aloud to him 
every day as far as possible a page or two of Esperanto, in order 
to attune his ear. He never had an opportunity of speaking the 
language before the congress, except once for a few minutes, 
when he travelled some distance to attend a meeting of the 
nearest English group. 

Thus equipped, he went through the Congress of Geneva, and 
found himself able to follow most of the proceedings, and to 
converse freely, though slowly, with people of the most diverse 
nationality. At an early sitting of the congress he found himself 
next to a Russian from Kischineff, who had been through the 
first great pogrom, and a most interesting conversation ensued. 
Another day the neighbours were an Indian nawab and an abbe 
from Madrid. Another time it was a Bulgarian. At the first 
official banquet he sat next to a Finn, who rejoiced in the name 
of Attila, and, but for the civilizing influence of a universal 
language, might have been in the sunny south, like his namesake 
of the ancient world, on a very different errand from his present 
peaceful one. Yet here he was, rubbing elbows with Italians, as 
if there had never been such things as Huns or a sack of Rome 
by northern barbarians. 

During the meal a Frenchman, finding himself near us English 
and some Germans, proposed a toast to the " entente cordiale 
taking in Germany," which was honoured with great enthusiasm. 
This is merely an instance of the small ways in which such 
gatherings make for peace and good will. 

With all these people it was perfectly easy to converse in the 
common tongue, pronunciation and national idiom being no bar 
in practice. 

And this experience was general throughout the duration of the 
congress. Day by day sittings were held for the transaction of all 
kinds of business and the discussion of the most varied subjects. 
It was impressive to see people from half the countries of the 


world rise from different corners of the hall and contribute their 
share to the discussion in the most matter-of-fact way. Day by 
day the congressists met in social functions, debates, lectures, 
and sectional groups (chemical, medical, legal, etc.) for the 
regulation of matters touching their special interests. Everything 
was done in Esperanto, and never was there the slightest hitch 
or misunderstanding, or failure to give adequate expression to 
opinions owing to defects of language. The language difficulty 
was annihilated. 

Perhaps one of the most striking demonstrations of this return 
to pre-Babel conditions was the performance of a three-part 
comedy by a Frenchman, a Russian, and a Spaniard. Such 
a thing would inevitably have been grotesque in any national 
language ; but here they met on common neutral ground. No 
one's accent was " foreign," and none of the spectators possessed 
that mother-tongue acquaintance with Esperanto that would 
lead them to feel slight divergences shocking, or even noticeable 
without extreme attention to the point. Other theatrical per- 
formances were given at Geneva, as also at Boulogne, where a play 
of Moliere was performed in Esperanto by actors of eight nation- 
alities with one rehearsal, and with full success. 

In the face of these facts it is idle to oppose a universal 
artificial language on the score of impossibility or inadequacy. 
The theoretical pronunciation difficulty completely crumbled 
away before the test of practice. 

The " war-at-any-price party," the whole-hoggers d tous crins 
(the juxtaposition of the two national idioms lends a certain 
realism, and heightens the effect of each), are therefore driven 
back on their second line of attack, if the Hibernianism may 
be excused. "Yes," they say, "your language may be possible, 
but, after all, why not learn an existing language, if you've got to 
learn one anyway ? " 

Now, quite apart from the obvious fact that the nations will 
never agree to give the preference to the language of one of them 
to the prejudice of the others, this argument involves the 


suggestion that an artificial language is no easier to learn 
than a natural one. We thus come to the question of ease as a 



PEOPLE smile incredulously at the mention of an artificial 
language, implying that no easy royal road can be found to 
language-learning of any kind. But the odds are all the other 
way, and they are heavy odds. 

The reason for this is quite simple, and may be briefly put 
as follows : 

The object of language is to express thought and feeling. 
Every natural language contains all kinds of complications and 
irregularities, which are of no use whatever in attaining this 
object, but merely exist because they happen to have grown. 
Their sole raison d'etre is historical. In fact, for a language 
without a history they are unnecessary.^ Therefore a universal 
language, whose only object is to supply to every one the 
simplest possible means of expressing his thoughts and feelings 
in a medium intelligible to every one else, simply leaves them 
out. Now, it is precisely in these " unnecessary " complications 
that a large proportion certainly more than half of the 
difficulty of learning a foreign language consists. Therefore an 
artificial language, by merely leaving them out, becomes 
certainly more than twice as easy to learn as any natural 

* Readers who do not care about the reasons for this, but desire concrete 
proofs, may skip the next few pages and turn in to p. 20, par. 6. 

f i.e. they do not assist in attaining its object as a language. One universal 
way of forming the plural, past tense, or comparative expresses plurality, 
past time, or comparison just as well as fifteen ways, and with a deal less 


A little reflection will make this truth so absurdly obvious, 
that the only wonder is, not that it is now beginning to be 
recognized, but that any one could have ever derided it. 

That the "unnecessary" difficulties of a natural language 
are more than one-half of the whole is certainly an under-estimate; 
for some languages the proportion would be more like 3 : 4 or 
5 : 6. Compared with these, the artificial language would be 
three times to five times as easy. 

Take an illustration. Compare the work to be done by the 
learner of (a) Latin, (b] Esperanto, in expressing past, present, 
and future action. 

(a) Latin : 

Present tense active is expressed by 

6 endings in the ist regular conjugation. 
6 2nd 

6 3 r d 

6 4th 

Total regular endings : 24. 

To these must be added a vast number of quite different 
and varying forms for irregular verbs. 
(&) Esperanto : 
Present tense active is expressed by 

i ending for every verb in the language. 

Total regular and irregular endings : i. 

It is exactly the same for the past and future. 

Total endings for the 3 tenses active : 

(a) Latin : 72 regular forms, plus a very large number of 
irregular and defective verbs. 

(b] Esperanto : 3 forms. 

Turning to the passive voice, we get 

(a) Latin : A complete set of different endings, some of them 
puzzling in form and liable to confusion with other parts of 
the verb. 


(b) Esperanto : No new endings at all. Merely the three-form 
regular active conjugation of the verb esti = to be, with a passive 
participle. No confusion possible. 

It is just the same with compound tenses, subjunctives, 
participles, etc. Making all due allowances, it is quite safe to say 
that the Latin verb is fifty times as hard as the Esperanto verb. 

The proportion would be about the same in the case of 
substantives, Latin having innumerable types. 

Comparing modern languages with Esperanto, the proportion 
in favour of the latter would not be so high as fifty to one in 
the inflection of verbs and nouns, though even here it would 
be very great, allowing for subjunctives, auxiliaries, irregu- 
larities, etc. But taking the whole languages, it might well 
rise to ten to one. 

For what are the chief difficulties in language-learning ? 

They are mainly either difficulties of phonetics, or of structure 
and vocabulary. 

Difficulties of phonetics are : 

(1) Multiplicity of sounds to be produced, including many 
sounds and combinations that do not occur in the language of 
the learner. 

(2) Variation of accent, and of sounds expressed by the 
same letter. 

These difficulties are both eliminated in Esperanto. 

(1) Relatively few sounds are adopted into the language, 
and only such as are common to nearly all languages. For 
instance, there are only five full vowels and three * diphthongs, 
which can be explained to every speaker in terms of his own 
language. All the modified vowels, closed "u's" and "e's," half 
tones, longs and shorts, open and closed vowels, etc., which 
form the chief bugbear in correct pronunciation, and often render 
the foreigner unintelligible all these disappear. 

(2) There is no variation of accent or of sound expressed by 

* Omitting the rare eu. ej and uj are merely simple vowels plus consonantal 
; ( = English y). 


the same letter. The principle " one letter, one sound " * is 
adhered to absolutely. Thus, having learned one simple rule 
for accent (always on the last syllable but one), and the uniform 
sound borresponding to each letter, no mistake is possible. 
Contrast this with English. Miss Soames gives twenty-one ways 
of writing the same sound. Here they are : 

ate great feign 

bass eh ! weigh 

pain gaol aye 

pay gauge obeyed 

dahlia champagne weighed 

vein campaign trait 

they straight half 'penny t 

(Compare eye, lie, high, etc.) 

In Esperanto this sound is expressed only and always by "e." 
In fact, the language is absolutely and entirely phonetic, as all 
real language was once. 

As regards difficulties of vocabulary, the same may be said 
as in the case of the sounds. Esperanto only adopts the minimum 
of roots essential, and these are simple, non-ambiguous, and as 
international as possible. Owing to the device of word-building 
by means of a few suffixes and prefixes with fixed meaning, the 
number of roots necessary is very greatly less than in any natural 
language, j 

As for difficulties of structure, some of the chief ones are 
as follows : 

Multiplicity and complexity of inflections. This does not exist 
in Esperanto. 

* The converse "one sound, one letter" is also true, except that the 
same sound is expressed by c and ts. (See Appendix C.) 

f Prof. Skeat adds a twenty-second : Lord Reay ! 

\ Most of these roots are already known to educated people. For the 
young the learning of a certain number of words presents practically no 
difficulty ; it is in the practical application of words learnt that they break 
down, and this failure is almost entirely due to " unnecessary " difficulties. 


Irregularities and exceptions of all kinds. None in Esperanto. 

Complications of orthography. None in Esperanto. 

Different senses of same word, and different words used in same 
sense. Esperanto " one word, one meaning." 

Arbitrary and fluctuating idioms. Esperanto none. Common 
sense and common grammar the only limitation to combination 
of words. 

Complexities of syntax. (Think of the use of the subjunctive 
and infinitive in all languages : ou and /x^ in Greek ; indirect 
speech in Latin; negatives, comparisons, etc., etc., in all languages.) 
Esperanto none. Common sense the only guide, and no 
ambiguity in practice. The perfect limpidity of Esperanto, with 
no syntactical rules, is a most instructive proof of the con- 
ventionality and arbitrariness of the niceties of syntax in national 
languages. After all, the subjunctive was made for man and 
not man for the subjunctive. 

But readers will say : " It is all very well to show by a 
comparison of forms that Esperanto ought to be much easier 
than a natural language. But we want facts." 

Here are some. 

In the last chapter it was mentioned that the present writer 
first took up Esperanto in October 1905, worked at it at odd 
times, never spoke it or heard it spoken save once, and was able 
to follow the proceedings of the Congress of Geneva in August 
1906, and talk to all foreigners. From a long experience of 
smattering in many languages and learning a few thoroughly, 
he is absolutely convinced that this would have been impossible 
to him in any national language. 

A lady who began Esperanto three weeks before the congress, 
and studied it in a grammar by herself one hour each day, was 
able to talk in it with all peoples on very simple subjects, and to 
follow a considerable amount of the lectures, etc. 

Amongst the British folk who attended the congress were many 
clerks and commercial people, who had merely learnt Esperanto 
by attending a class or a local group meeting once a week, often 


for not many months. They had never been out of England 
before, nor learnt any other foreign language. They would have 
been utterly at sea if they had attempted to do what they did on 
a similar acquaintance with any foreign tongue. But during the 
two days spent en route in Paris, where the British party was feted 
and shown round by the French Esperantists, on the journey 
to Geneva, which English and French made together, on lake 
steamboats, at picnics and dinners, etc., etc., here they were, 
rattling away with great ease and mutual entertainment. Many 
of these came from the North of England, and it was a real eye- 
opener, over which easy-going South-Englanders would do well to 
ponder, to see what results could be produced by a little energy 
and application, building on no previous linguistic training. 
The Northern accent was evidently a help in pronouncing the 
full-sounding vowels of Esperanto. 

One Englishman, who was talking away gaily with the French 
samideanoj * was an Esperantist of one year's standing. He had 
happened to be at Boulogne in pursuit of a little combined French 
and seasiding at the time of the first congress held there, 1905. 
One day he got his tongue badly tied up in a cafe, and was helped 
out of his linguistic difficulties with the waiter by certain com- 
patriots, who wore green stars in their buttonholes,t and sat at 
another table conversing in an unknown lingo with a crowd of 
foreigners. He made inquiries, and found it was Esperanto they 
were talking. He was so much struck by their facility, and the 
practical way in which they had set his business to rights in a 
minute (the waiter was an Esperantist trained ad hoc !), that he 
decided to give up French and go in for Esperanto. This man 
was a real learner of French, who had spent a long time on it, 
and realized with disgust his impotence to wield it practically. 
To judge by his conversation next year at Geneva, he had no 
such difficulty with Esperanto. He was quite jubilant over the 

* Terse Esperanto word. = partisans of the same idea (i.e. Esperanto), 
f The Esperanto badge. 


Such examples could be multiplied ad infinitum. No one who 
attended a congress could fail to be convinced. 

Scientific comparison of the respective difficulty of Esperanto 
and other languages, based on properly collected and tabulated 
results, does not seem to be yet obtainable. It is difficult to get 
high-class schools, where language-teaching is a regular and import- 
ant part of the curriculum, to give an artificial language a fair 
trial. Properly organized and carried-out tests are greatly to be 
desired. If and when they are made, it will probably be found 
that Esperanto is not only very easy of acquisition itself, but that 
it has a beneficial effect upon other language-learning.* 

Meantime, the present writer has carried out one small experi- 
ment in a good secondary school for girls, where French and 
German are regularly spoken and taught for many hours in the 
week. The head-mistress introduced Esperanto as a regular 
school subject at the beginning of the Easter term, January 
1907. At the end of term a test paper was set, consisting of 
English sentences to be rendered into French and Esperanto 
without any dictionary or other aid, and one short passage of 
English prose to be rendered into both languages with any aid 
from books that the pupils wished. The object was to determine 
how far a few hours' teaching of Esperanto would produce results 
comparable with those obtained in a language learnt for years. 

The examinees ranged from fourteen to sixteen years. They 
had been learning French from two to seven years, and had a 
daily French lesson, besides speaking French on alternate days in 
the school. They had learnt Esperanto for ten weeks, from one 
to one and a half hours per week. Taking the papers all through, 
the Esperanto results were nearly as good as the French. 

One last experiment may be mentioned. It was made under 
scientific conditions on September 23, 1905. The subject was 
an adult, who had learnt French and German for years at school, 
and had since taught French to young boys, but was not a linguist 
by training or education, having read mathematics at the university. 
* See pp. I4S-SS- 


He had had no lessons in Esperanto, and had never studied the 
language, his sole knowledge of it being derived from general con- 
versation with an enthusiast, who had just returned from the 
Geneva Congress. He was disposed to laugh at Esperanto, but 
was persuaded to test its possibilities as a language that can be 
written intelligibly by an educated person merely from dictionary 
by a few rules. 

He was given a page of carefully prepared English to translate 
into Esperanto. The following written aids were given : 

1. Twenty-five crude roots (e.g. lern- =to learn.) 

2. One suffix, with explanation of its use. 

3. A one-page complete grammar of the Esperanto language. 

4. An Esperanto-English and an English-Esperanto dictionary. 
He produced a good page of perfectly intelligible Esperanto, 

quite free from serious grammatical mistake. He admitted that 
he could not translate the passage so well into French or German. 

Such experiments go a good way towards proving the case for 
an artificial language. More are urgently needed, especially of 
the last two types. They serve to convince all those who come 
within range of the experiment that an artificial language is a 
serious project, and may confer great benefits at small cost. Any 
one can make them with a little trouble, if he can secure a 
victim. A particularly interesting one is to send a letter in 
Esperanto to some English or foreign correspondent, enclosing 
a penny key. The letter will certainly be understood, and very 
likely the answer will be in Esperanto. 

Doubters as to the ease and efficacy of a universal language are 
not asked to believe without trial. They are merely asked not 
to condemn or be unfavourable until they have a right to an 
opinion on the subject. And they are asked to form an opinion 
by personally testing, or at any rate by weighing actual facts. " A 
fair field and no favour." 

The very best way of testing the thing is to study the language 
for a few hours and attend a congress. The next congress is to 
be held in Cambridge, England, in August 1907. 


Nothing is more unscientific or unintelligent than to scoff at 
a thing, while refusing to examine whether there is anything 
in it. 


IN Chapters II., III., and IV. it was sought to prove that a 
universal language is desirable in principle, that it already exists 
and is efficient, and that it is very easy. If these propositions are 
true, the only valid argument against introducing it at once would 
be a demonstration that its introduction is either impracticable 
or else attended with such disadvantages as to outweigh the 
beneficial results. 

Now, it is quite true that certain schemes tending towards 
international uniformity of practice and, therefore, ultimately 
productive of saving of labour are nevertheless such that their 
realization would cause an almost prohibitive dislocation of 
present organization. A conspicuous example is the proposed 
adoption of the decimal system in coinage and weights and 
measures. So great is the loss of time and trouble (and therefore 
of money) entailed by using an antiquated and cumbrous system 
instead of a simple and modern one that does the work as well, 
that the big firm Kynochs some months ago introduced the 
decimal system, in spite of the enormous difficulty of having to 
keep a double method going. But hitherto, at any rate, the great 
disturbance to business that the change would cause has prevented 
it from being generally made. Both this matter and the curiously 
out-of-date* system of spelling modern English present a fairly 

* Out of date, because it has failed to keep pace with the change of 
pronunciation. Spelling, i.e. use of writing, was merely a device for repre- 
senting to the eye the spoken sounds, so that failure to do this means getting 
out of date. 


close analogy to the multilingual system of international intercourse, 
as regards unprofitable expenditure of time and trouble. 

But where the analogy breaks down altogether is in the matter 
of obstacles to reform. 

Supposing that all the ministries of education in the world 
issued orders, that as from January i, 1909, an auxiliary language 
should be taught in every government school ; supposing that 
merchants took to doing foreign business wholesale in an auxiliary 
language, or that men of science took to issuing all their books 
and treatises in it ; whose business would be dislocated ? What 
literature or books would become obsolete ? Who, except foreign 
correspondence clerks and interpreters, would be a penny the 
worse ? Surely a useful reform need not be delayed or refused in 
the interests of interpreters and correspondence clerks. Even 
these would only be eliminated gradually as the reform spread. 
There would be absolutely no general confusion analogous to 
that following on a sudden change to phonetic spelling or the 
metric system, because nothing would be displaced. 

Look at the precedents the adoption of an international 
maritime code, and of an international system of cataloguing 
which puts bibliography on an equal footing all over the world by 
means of a common system of classification. Did any confusion 
or dislocation follow on these reforms ? Quite the contrary. It 
was enough for England and France to agree on the use of the 
maritime code, and the rest of the nations had to come into line. 
It would be the same with the official recognition by a group of 
powerful nations of an auxiliary language. As soon as the world 
recognizes that it is a labour-saving device on a large scale, and a 
matter of public convenience on the same plane as codes, 
telegraphy, or shorthand, it will no doubt be introduced. But 
why wait until there are rival schemes with large followings and 
vested interests in short, until the same obstacles arise to the 
choice of an international, artificial, and neutral language, as now 
prevent the elevation of any national language into a universal 
medium ? The plea of impracticability on the score of dislocation 


might then be valid. At present it is not. To have an easy 
language that will carry you anywhere and enable you to read 
anything, it is sufficient to wish for it. Only, as we Britons are 
being taught to "think imperially," so must the nations learn in 
this matter to wish internationally. 


*"* l ~ * 

THE main work of educating he public to " wish internationally," 
the necessary precedent to official action, has naturally in the past 
been done by the adherents of the various language-schemes 
themselves. An outline of the most important of these movements 
is given in the second part of this book. 

But apart from these there is now an international organization 
that is working for the adoption of an international auxiliary 
language, and a brief account of it may be given here. 

During the Paris Exhibition of 1900 a number of international 
congresses and learned societies, which were holding meetings 
there, appointed delegates for the consideration of the inter- 
national language question. These delegates met on January 17, 
1901, and founded a "Delegation for the Adoption of an 
International Auxiliary Language." They drew up the following 
declaration, which has been approved by all subsequently elected 
delegates : 



The undersigned, deputed by various Congresses and Societies 
to study the question of an international auxiliary language, have 
agreed on the following points : 


HI) There is a necessity to choose and to spread the use of an 
international language, designed not to replace national idioms in 
the individual life of each people, but to serve in the written and 
oral relations between persons whose mother-tongues are different), 

(2) In order to fulfil its purpose usefully, an international 
language must satisfy the following conditions : 

ist Condition : It must fulfil the needs of the ordinary 
intercourse of social life, of commercial communications, and 
of scientific and philosophic relations ; 

2nd Condition : It must be easily acquired by every 
person of average elementary education, and especially by 
persons of European civilization : 

3rd Condition : It must not be one of the national 

(3) It is desirable to organize a general DELEGATION repre- 
senting all who realize the necessity, as well as the possibility, of 
an international auxiliary language, and who are interested in its 
employment. This Delegation will appoint a Committee of 
members who can meet during a certain period of time. The 
purpose of this Committee is defined in the following articles. 

(4) The choice of the auxiliary language belongs in the first 
instance to the International Association of Academies, or, in case 
of failure, to the Committee mentioned in Art. 3. 

(5) Consequently the first duty of the Committee will be to 
present to the International Association of Academies, in the 
required forms, the desires expressed by the constituent Societies 
and Congresses, and to invite it respectfully to realize the project 
of an auxiliary language. 

(6) It will be the duty of the Committee to create a Society for 
propaganda, to spread the use of the auxiliary language which is 

(7) The undersigned, being delegated by various Congresses 
and Societies, decide to approach all learned bodies, and all 
societies of business men and tourists, in order to obtain their 
adhesion to the present project. 


(8) Representatives of regularly constituted Societies which 
have agreed to the present Declaration will be admitted as 
members of the DELEGATION. 

This declaration is the official programme of the Delegation. 
The most important point of principle to note is Art. 2, 3rd Con. : 
41 It must not be one of the national languages." 

As regards the methods of action prescribed, no attempt is to 
be made to bring direct pressure to bear upon any government. 
It was rightly felt that the adoption of a universal language is a 
matter for private initiative. No government can properly take 
up the question, no Ministry of Education can officially introduce 
an auxiliary language into the schools under its control, until the 
principle has met with a certain amount of general recognition. 
The result of a direct appeal to any government or governments 
could only have been, in the most favourable case, the appoint- 
ment by the government appealed to of a commission to investi- 
gate and report on the question. Such a commission would 
examine experts and witnesses from representative bodies, such 
as academies, institutes, philological and other learned societies. 
The best course of action, therefore, for the promoters of an 
international language is to apply direct to such bodies, to bring 
the question before them and try to gain their support. This is 
what the Delegation has done. 

Now, there already exists an international organization whose 
object is to represent and focus the opinion of learned societies in 
all countries. This is the International Association of Academies, 
formed in 1900 for the express purpose, according to its statutes, 
of promoting " scientific enterprises of international interest." 
The delegates feel that the adoption of an international language 
comes in the fullest sense within the letter and spirit of this 
statute. It is, therefore, to this Association that the choice of 
language is, in the first place, left. (Art. 4.) 

The Association meets triennially. At its first meeting (Paris 
1901) the question of international language was brought before 


it by General Se"bert, of the French Institute, but too late to be 
included among the agenda of that meeting. The occasion was 
important as eliciting an expression of opinion on the part of the 
signatories to General Sebert's address. These included twenty- 
five members of the French Institute, one of the most 
distinguished scientific bodies in the world. 

At the second meeting of the Association (London 1904) the 
Delegation did not officially present the question for discussion, 
but the following paragraph appears in the report of the pro- 
ceedings of the Royal Society, which was the host {London 
Royal Society, 1904, C. Section of Letters, Thursday, May 26, 
1904, p. 33) : 

"In the course of the sitting, the chairman (Lord Reay, 
President of the British Academy) submitted to the meeting 
whether the question of the ' International Auxiliary Language ' 
should be considered, though not included in the agenda. From 
many quarters applications had been made that the subject might 
be discussed in some form or other. Prof. Goldziher and 
M. Perrot spoke against the suggested discussion, the former 
maintaining that the matter was a general question of international 
communication, and did not specifically affect scientific interests ;. 
the latter announced that he had been commissioned by the 
Acadlmie des Inscriptions to oppose the consideration of this 
subject. The matter then dropped." 

The third meeting of the Association of Academies was held at 
Vienna at the end of May 1907, under the auspices of the Vienna 
Academy of Science. The question was officially laid before it 
by the Delegation. The Association declared, for formal reasons, 
that the question did not fall within its competence.* 

Up till now only two national academies have shown themselves 
favourable to the scheme, those of Vienna and Copenhagen. 

* In the voting as to the inclusion of the question in the agenda, eight votes 
were cast in favour of international language, and twelve against. This con- 
siderable minority shows very encouraging progress in such a body, considering 
the newness of the scheme. 


The Vienna Academy commissioned one of its most eminent 
members, Prof. Schuchardt, to watch the movement on its behalf, 
and to keep it informed on the subject. In 1904 he presented 
a report favourable to an international language. He and Prof. 
Jespersen are amongst the most famous philologists who support 
the movement. 

It is not therefore anticipated that the Association of Academies 
will take up the question ; and the Delegation, thinking it desirable 
not to wait indefinitely till it is converted, has proceeded to the 
election of a committee, as provided in Art. 4 of the Declaration. 
It consists of twelve members, with powers to add to their 
number. It will meet in Paris, October 5, 1907. It is anticipated 
that the language chosen will be Esperanto. None of the 
members of this international committee are English, all the 
English savants invited having declined. 

What may be the practical effect of the choice made by this 
Committee remains to be seen. In France there is a permanent 
Parliamentary Commission for the consideration of questions 
affecting public education. This Commission has for some time 
had before it a proposal for the introduction of Esperanto into 
the State schools of France, signed by twelve members of 
Parliament and referred by the House to the Commission. This 
year the proposal has been presented again in a different form. 
The text of the scheme, which is much more practical than the 
former one, is as follows : 

"The study of the international language Esperanto will be 
included in the curricula of those government schools in which 
modern languages are already taught. 

" This study will be optional, and candidates who offer for the 
various examinations English, German, Italian, Spanish, or Arabic, 
will be allowed to offer Esperanto as an additional subject. 

" They will be entitled to the advantages enjoyed by candidates 
who offer an additional language." 

At present it is a very usual thing to offer an additional 
language, and if this project passes, Esperanto will be on 


exactly the same footing as other languages for this purpose. 
The project of recognizing Esperanto as a principal language 
for examination was entirely impracticable. It is far too easy, 
and would merely have become a " soft option " and a refuge for 
the destitute. 

It is said that a majority of the Commission are in favour 
of introducing an auxiliary language into the schools, when 
one has been chosen by the Delegation or by the Association 
of Academies. It is therefore possible that in a year or 
two Esperanto may be officially recognized in France; and if 
this is so, other nations will have to examine the matter seriously. 

Considering that the French are notoriously bad linguists 
and, above all other peoples, devoted to the cult of their own 
language and literature, it is somewhat remarkable that the 
cause of an artificial language should have made more progress 


among them than elsewhere. It might have been anticipated 
that the Obstructionist outcry, raised so freely in all countries 
by those who imagine that an insidious attack is being made 
on taste, culture, and national language and literature^ would 
have been particularly loud in France. On the contrary, it is 
precisely in that country that the movement has made most 
popular progress, and that it numbers the most scientists, scholars, 
and distinguished men among its adherents. Is it that history 
will one day have to record another case of France leading Europe 
in the van of progress ? 

Encouraged by the number of distinguished signatures obtained 
in France to their petition in 1901, the Delegation drew up a 
formula of assent to their Declaration, which they circulate 
amongst (i) members of academies, (2) members of universities, in 
all countries. They also keep a list of societies of all kinds who 
have declared their adherence to the scheme. The latest lists 
(February and March 1907) show 1,060 signatures of academicians 
and university members, and 273 societies. In both cases the 
most influential backing is in France. Thus among the 
signatures figure in Paris alone : 

10 professors of the College de France ; 

8 Faculty of Medicine ; 
13 Faculty of Science ; 

11 Faculty of Letters ; 

12 Ecole Normale ; 

37 members of the Academy of Science ; 

besides a host of other members of various learned bodies. 
Many of these are members of that august body the Institut 
de France, and one is a member of the Academic fran9aise 
M. Lavisse, 

It is the same in the other French Universities : Lyons 
University, 53 professors; Dijon, 34; Caen, 18; Besangon, 15; 
Grenoble, 26 ; Marseilles, 56, and so on. 

Universities in other lands make a fair showing. America con- 
tributes supporters from John Hopkins University, 20 professors ; 
Boston Academy of Arts and Sciences, 13 members ; Harvard, 
7 professors; Columbia University, 23 professors; Washington 
Academy of Science, 19 members ; Columbus University, Ohio, 
21 professors, etc. Dublin and Edinburgh both contribute a few. 
England is represented by one entry : "Cambridge, 2 professors." 
Perhaps the Cambridge Congress will change this somewhat. It 
will be strange if any one can actually witness a congress 
without having his imagination to some extent stirred by the 

A noticeable feature of the action of the Delegation throughout 
has been the scientific spirit in which it has gone to work, 
and its absolute impartiality as to the language to be adopted. 
It has everywhere, in its propaganda and circulars, spoken of 
"an international auxiliary language," and has been careful 
not to prejudge in any way the question as to which shall be 

It may be news to many that there are several rival languages 
in the field. Even the enthusiastic partisans of Esperanto are 
often completely ignorant of the existence of competitors. It 
was partly with the object of furnishing full information to the 


Delegates who are to make the choice, that MM. Couturat and 
Leau composed their admirable Histoire de la langue universelle. 
It contains a brief but scientific account of each language 
mentioned, the leading principles of its construction, and an 
excellent critique. The main principles are disengaged by the 
authors with a masterly clearness and precision of analysis from 
the mass of material before them. Though they are careful to 
express no personal preference, and let fall nothing which might 
unfairly prejudice the delegates in favour of any scheme, it is not 
difficult to judge, by a comparison of the scientific critiques, which 
of the competing schemes analysed most fully carries out the 
principles which experience now shows to be essential to success 
for any artificial language. 

The impression left is, that whether judged by the test of 
conformity to necessary principles, or by the old maxim 
" possession is nine points of the law," Esperanto has no serious 



THERE are some who fully admit the desirability of an inter- 
national language, but say that we have no need to invent one, 
as we have Latin. This tends to be the argument of literary 
persons.* They back it up by pointing out that Latin has 
already done duty in the Middle Ages as a common medium, 
and therefore, they say, what it has once done with success it can 
do again. 

It is hard to argue with such persons, because they have not 
grasped the fact that the nature of international communication 
has undergone a complete change, and that therefore there is no 

* It has even cropped up again in the able articles in The Times on the 
reformed pronunciation of Latin (April 1907). 



presumption that the same medium will suffice for carrying it on. 
In the Middle Ages the cosmopolitan public was almost entirely 
a learned one. The only people who wanted to communicate 
with foreigners (except for a certain amount of commerce) were 
scholars, and the only things they wanted to communicate about 
were learned subjects, mostly of a philosophical or literary nature, 
which Latin was adapted to express. The educated public was 
extremely small, and foreign travel altogether beyond the reach of 
all but the very few. The overwhelming mass of the people were 
illiterate, and fast tied to their native spot by lack of pence, lack 
of communications, and the general conditions of life. 

Now that everybody can read and write and get about, and all 
the conditions of life have changed, the cosmopolitan public, so 
far from being confined to a handful of scholars and merchants, 
extends down to and is largely made up of that terrible modern 
production, "the man in the street." It is quite ridiculous to 
pretend that because an Erasmus or a Casaubon could carry on 
literary controversies, with amazing fluency and hard-hitting, in 
Ciceronian Latin, therefore " the bald-headed man at the back of 
the omnibus " can give up the time necessary to obtaining a 
control of Latin sufficient for the conduct of his affairs, or for 
hobnobbing with his kind abroad. 

It is waste of time to argue with those who do not realize that 
the absolute essentials of any auxiliary language in these days are 
ease of acquirement and accessibility to all. There are actually 
some newspapers published in Latin and dealing with modern 
topics. As an amusement for the learned they are all very well; 
but the portentous periphrases to which they are reduced in de- 
scribing tramway accidents or motor-cars, the rank obscurity of 
the terms in which advertisements of the most ordinary goods 
are veiled, ought to be enough to drive their illusions out of the 
heads of the modern champions of Latin for practical purposes. 
Let these persons take in the Roman Vox Urbis for a month or 
two, or get hold of a copy of the London Alaudae, and see how 
they feel then. 


A dim perception of the requirements of the modern world has 
inspired the various schemes for a barbarized and simplified Latin. 
It is almost incredible that the authors of such schemes cannot 
see that debased Latin suffers from all the defects alleged against 
an artificial language, plus quite prohibitory ones of its own, 
without attaining the corresponding advantages. It is just as 
artificial as an entirely new language, without being nearly so easy 
(especially to speak) or adaptable to modern life. It sins against 
the cardinal principle that an auxiliary language shall inflict no 
damage upon any natural one. In short, it disgusts both parties 
(scholars and tradesmen), and satisfies the requirements of neither. 
Those who want an easy language, within the reach of the in- 
telligent person with only an elementary school groundwork of 
education, don't get it ; and the scholarly party, who treat any 
Artificial language as a cheap commercial schemeT'Jhave their 
teeth set on edge by unparalleled barbarisms, which must militate 
most seriously against the correct use of classical Latin. 

Such schemes are dead of their own dogginess. 

Latin, pure or mongrel, won't do. 



THIS chapter might be as short and dogmatic as Mark Twain's 
celebrated chapter upon snakes in Ireland. It would be enough 
to merely answer " No," but that the indefatigable Mr. Hender- 
son, after running through three artificial languages of his own, 
has come to the conclusion that Greek is the thing. Certainly, 
as regards flexibility and power of word-formation, Greek would 
be better than Latin on its own merits. But it is too hard, and 
the scheme has nothing practical about it, 




JINGOES are not wanting who say that it is unpatriotic of any 
Englishman to be a party to the introduction of a neutral 
language, because English is manifestly destined to be the 
language of the world. 

Reader, did you ever indulge in the mild witticism of asking 
a foreigner where the English are mentioned in the Bible ? The 
answer, of course, is, The meek shall inherit the earth. But if 
the foreigner is bigger than you, don't tell him until you have got 
to a safe distance. 

It is this (attitude of self-assertion, coupled with the tacit 
assumption that the others don't count much, that makes the 
English so detested on the Continent. It is well reflected in 
the claim to have their own language adopted as a common 
means of communication between all other peoples/i 

This claim is not put forward in any spirit of deliberate 
insolence, or with the intention of ignoring other people's feel- 
ings ; though the very unconsciousness of any arrogance in such 
an attitude really renders it more galling, on account of the 
tacit conclusion involved therein. It is merely the outcome of 
ignorance and of that want of tact which consists of inability to put 
oneself at the point of view of others. The interests of English- 
speaking peoples are enormous, far greater than those of any 
other group of nations united by a common bond of speech. 
But it is a form of narrow provincial ignorance to refuse on that 
account to recognize that, compared to the whole bulk of civilized 
people, the English speakers are in a small minority, and that 
the majority includes many high-spirited peoples with a strongly 
developed sense of nationality, and destined to play a very 
important part in the history of the worfdJ Any sort of move- 
ment to have English or any other national language adopted 
officially as a universal auxiliary language would at once entail a 


boycott of the favoured language on the part of a ring of other 
powerful nations, who could not afford to give a rival the benefit 
of this augmented prestige. Andui is precisely upon universality 
of adoption that the great use of an international language will 

To sum up : the ignorance of contemporary history and fact 
displayed in the suggestion of giving the preference to any 
national language is only equalled by its futility, for it is futile 
to put forward a scheme that has no chance of even being 
discussed internationally as a matter of practical politics. 

A proof is that precisely the same objection to an auxiliary 
language is raised in France namely, that it is unpatriotic, 
because it would displace French from that proud position. 

The above remarks will be wholly misunderstood if they are 
taken to imply any spirit of Little Englandism on the part of the 
writer. On the contrary, he is ardently convinced of the mighty 
role that will be played among the nations by the British Empire, 
and has had much good reason in going to and fro in the world 
to ponder on its unique achievement in the past. When fully 
organized on some terms of partnership as demanded by the 
growth of the Colonies, it will go even farther in the future. 
But all this has nothing to do with an international language. 
Howsoever mighty, the British Empire will not swallow up the 
earth at any rate, not in our time. And till it does, it is not 
practical politics to expect other peoples to recognize English as 
the international language as between themselves. 

There are, in fact, two quite separate questions : 

(1) Supposing it is possible for any national language to become 
the international one, which has the best claims ? 

(2) Is it possible for any national language to be adopted as the 
international one ? 

To question (i) the answer undoubtedly is ''English." It is 
already the language of the sea, and to a large extent the medium 
for transacting business between Europeans and Asiatic races, or 


between the Asiatic races themselves.* Moreover, except for its 
pronunciation and spelling, it has intrinsically the best claim, as 
being the furthest advanced along the common line of development 
of Aryan language.t.. But the discussion of this question has no 
more than an academic interest, because the answer to question (2) 
is, for political reasons, in the negative. 


"You base your argument for an international language mainly on 
the operation of economical laws. Be consistent, then ; leave the 
matter to Nature. By unlimited competition the best language 
is bound to be evolved and come to the top in the struggle for 
life. Let the fittest survive, and don't bother about Esperanto." 

On a first hearing this sounds fairly plausible, yet it is 
honeycombed with error. 

In the first place, it proves too much. The same argument 
could be adduced for the abandonment of effort of all kind 
whatever to improve upon Nature and her processes. " You 
can walk and run and swim. Don't bother to invent boats and 
bicycles, trains and aeroplanes, that will bring you more into 
touch with other peoples. Let Nature evolve the best form of 
international locomotion." 

Again, Nature does not tend towards uniformity. She produces 
an infinity of variety in the individual, and out of this variety 
she selects and evolves certain prevailing types. But these types 

* Another argument is that (based on the comparative numbers of people 
who speak the principal European languages as their mother-tongue. No 
accurate statistics exist, but an interesting estimate is quoted by Couturat 
and Leau (Hist, de la langue universelle), which puts English first with about 
120,000,000, followed at a distance of 30,000,000 or 40,000,000 by Russian. 

f This is explained in Part III., chap, i., q.v. 


differ widely within the limits of the world under varying 
conditions of environment. What we are seeking to establish is 
world-wide uniformity, in spite of difference of environment. 

Again, the argument confuses a sub- characteristic with an 
organism. ^A. language is not an organism, but one of the 
characteristics of man?) After the lapse of countless ages there 
are grey horses and black, bay and chestnut, presumably because 
greyness and blackness and the rest are incidental characteristics 
of a horse. No one of them gives him a greater advantage than 
the others in his struggle for life, or helps him particularly to 
perform the functions of horsiness. 

Just in the same way a man may be equally well equipped with 
all the qualities that make for success, whether he speaks English 
or French, Russian or Japanese. It cannot be shown that 
language materially helps one people as against another, or even 
that the best race evolves the best language.* Take the last 
mentioned. If there is one people on the face of the globe who 
rejoice in an impossible language, it is the Japanese. In the 
early days of foreign intercourse a good Jesuit father reported 
that the Japanese were courteous and polite to strangers, but 
their language was plainly the invention of the devil. To a 
modern mind the language may have outlived its putative father, 
but its reputation has not improved, so far as ease is concerned. 
Yet who will say that it has impaired national efficiency ? 

Che fact is, that for purposes of transaction of ordinary affairs 
by those who speak it as a mother tongue, one language is about 
as good as another. Whether it survives or spreads depends, 
not upon its intrinsic qualities as a language, but upon the 
success of the race that speaks it.t There is, therefore, no 

* Greece went down before Rome. Which was the better race, meaning 
by " better" the more capable of imposing its language and manners on the 
world ? Yet who doubts that Greek was the better language f 

f A curious phenomenon of our day suggests a possible partial exception. 
In Switzerland French is steadily encroaching and bearing back German. 
Is this owing to the intrinsic qualities of French language and civilization ? 
Materially, the Germans have the greater expansive power. 


presumption that the best or the most suitable or the easiest 
language will spread over the world by its own merits, or even 
that any easy or regular language will be evolved. Printing 
and education have altogether arrested the natural process of 
evolution of language on the lips of men. This is one justification 
for the application of new artificial reforms to language and 
spelling, which tend no longer to move naturally with the times 
as heretofore") 

As regards free competition between rival artificial languages, 
the same considerations hold good. The worse might prevail 
just as easily as the better, because the determining factor is not 
the nature of the language, but the influence and general capacity 
of the rival backers. Of course a very bad or hard artificial 
language would not prevail against an easy one. But beyond a 
certain point of ease a universal language cannot go (ease 
meaning the ease of all), and that limit has probably been about 
reached now. Between future schemes there will be such a mere 
fractional difference in respect of ease, that competition becomes 
altogether beside the point. The thing is to take an easy one 
and stick to it. 




ONE of the commonest arguments that advocates of a universal 
language have to face runs something like this : 

" Yes, there really does seem to be something in what you 
say your language may save time and money and grease the 
wheels of business ; but, after all,^we are not all business men, 
nor are we all out after dollars. Just think what a dull, drab 
uniformity your scheme would lay over the lands like a pall. 
By the artificial removal of natural barriers you are aiding and 
abetting the vulgarization of the world. You are doing what 


in you lies to eliminate the racy, the local, the picturesque. 
The tongues of men are as stately trees, set deep in the black, 
mouldering soil of the past, and rich with its secular decay. 
The leaves are the words of the people, old yet ever new, and 
the flowers are the nation's poems, drawing their life from the 
thousand tiny roots that twist and twine unseen about the lives 
and struggles of bygone men. You are calling to us to come 
forth from the cool seclusion of these trees' shade, to leave 
their delights and toil in the glare of the world at raising a 
mushroom growth on a dull, featureless plain that reaches 
everywhither.} Modern Macbeths, sophisticated by your modernity 
and adding perverted instinct to crime, you are murdering not 
sleep, but dreams dreams that haunt about the mouldering lodges 
of the past, and soften the contact with reality by lending their 
own colouring atmosphere. You are hammering the last nail 
into the coffin of the old leisurely past, the past that raised the 
cathedrals, to which taste and feeling were of supreme moment, 
and when man put something of himself into his every work." 

\The man must be indeed dull of soul who cannot join in a 
dirge for the beauty of the vanishing past. Turn where we 
may now, we find the same railways, the same trams, music-halls, 
coats and trousers. The mad rush of modernity with its level- 
ling tendency really is killing off what is quaint, out of the way, 
and racy of the soil. But why visit the sins of modernity upon 
an international language ? The last sentence of the indictment 
itself suggests the line of defence. " You are hammering the 
last nail into the coffin of the old, leisurely past. . . ty 

Quite so, you are. 

The universal ability to use an auxiliary language on occasion 
rounds off and completes the levelling process. But the old leisurely 
past will not be any the less dead, or any the less effectually 
buried, if one nail is not driven home in the coffin. The slayer 
is modernity at large, made up of science, steam, democracy, 
universal education, and many other things but especially 
universal education. And the verdict can be, at the most, 


justifiable, or at any rate inevitable, pasticide. You cannot eat 
your cake and have it ; you cannot kill off all the bad things 
and keep all the good ones. With sterilization goes purification, 
pasticide may be accompanied by pasteurization. At any rate, 
"the old order changeth," and you've got to let it change. 

The whole history of the "progress" of the world, meaning 
often material progress, is eloquent of the lesson that ft is vain 
to set artificial limits to advancing invention.") The substitution 
of cheap mechanical processes of manufacYure for hand-work 
involved untold misery to many, and incidentally led to the 
partial disappearance of a type of character which the world could 
ill afford to lose, and which we would give much to be able to 
bring back. The old semi-artist-craftsman, with hand and eye 
really trained up to something like their highest level of capacity, 
with knowledge not wide, but deep, and all gained from experience, 
and not from books or technical education this type of character 
is a loss. Many, with the gravest reason, are dissatisfied with the 
type which has already largely replaced it, and which will replace 
it for good or evil, but ever more swiftly and surely. But no well- 
judging person proposes on that account to forgo the material 
advantages conferred upon mankind by the invention of machinery. 
If the world rejects, on sentimental grounds, the labour-saving in- 
vention of international language, it will be flying in the face of 
economic history, and it will not appreciably retard the disappear- 
ance of the picturesque. 

There is another type of argument which may also be classed 
as aesthetic, but which differs somewhat from the one just dis- 
cussed. It emanates chiefly from literary men and scholars, and 
may be presented as follows : 

" Language is precious, and worthy of study, inasmuch as it 
enshrines the imperishable monuments of the thought and genius 
of the race on whose lips it was born. The study of the words 
and forms in which a nation clothed its thoughts throws many a 
ray of light on phases of the evolution of the race itself, which 


would otherwise have remained dark. ^The history of a language 
and literature is in some measure an epitome of the history of a 
people. We miss all these points of interest in your artificial 
language, and we shall, therefore, refuse to study it, and hereby 
commit it to the devil/y 

This is a particularly humiliating type of answer to receive, 
because it implies that one is an ass. In truth the man who 
should invent an artificial language and invite the world to study 
it for itself would be a fool, and a very swell-headed fool at that. 
It seems in vain to point this out to persons who use the above 
argument ; or to explain to them that they would be aided in 
their study of languages that do repay study by the introduction 
of an easy international language, because many commentaries, 
etc., would become accessible to them, which are not so now, or 
only at the expense of deciphering some difficult language in 
which the commentary is written, the commentary itself being 
in no sense literature, and its form a matter of complete 

Back comes the old answer in one form or another, every varia- 
tion tainted with the heresy that the language is to be studied as 
a language for itself. 

Perhaps the least tedious way of giving an idea of this kind of 
opposition, and the way in which it may be met, is to give some 
extracts from a scholar's letter, and the writer's answer. The letter 
is fairly typical. 


" MY DEAR - , /T 

" Many thanks for your long letter on Esperanto. . . . 
According to the books, Esperanto can be learnt quickly by 
any one. VThis means that they will forget it quite as rapidly ; 
for what is easily acquired is soon forgotten. . . Tj In my humble 
opinion, an Englishman who knows French and German would do 
much better to devote any extra time at his disposal to the study 
of his own language, which, I repeat, is one of the most delicate 
mediums of communication now in existence. ^It has taken 


centuries to construct, while Esperanto was apparently created 
in a few hours. One is God's handiwork, and the other a man's 
toy. Personally, any living language interests me more than 
Esperanto"'? I am sorry I am such a heretic, but I fear my love 
for the English language carries me away. . . . 

" Yours ever, 

The points that rankle are artificiality and lack of a history. 


"I really can't put it any more plainly, so I must just repeat 
it : we are not trying to introduce a language that has any interest 
for anybody in itself. An international language is a labour-saving 
device. The question is, Is it an efficient one ? If so, it must 
surely be adopted. The world wants to be saved labour. It never 
pays permanently to do things a longer way, if the shorter one 
produces equally good results. No one has yet proved, or, in 
my opinion, advanced any decent argument tending to show, that 
the results produced by a universal language will not be just as 
good for many purposes* as those produced by national languages. 
That the results are more economically produced surely does not 
admit of doubt. 

" ' Personally, any living language interests me more than 
Esperanto.' Of course it does. So it does me, and most 
sensible people. But what the digamma does it matter to 
Esperanto whether we are interested in it or not ? It is not 
there to interest us. The question is, Does it, or not, save us 
or others unprofitable labour on a large scale ? Neither you nor 
most sane persons are probably particularly interested in short- 
hand or Morse codes or any signalling systems. Yet they 
bear up. 

* And those very important ones, relatively to man's whole field of 


"Do try to see that we think there is a certain felt want, 
amongst countless numbers of persons, which is much more 
efficiently and economically met by a neutral, easy, international 
language, than by any national one. That is the position you 
have got to controvert, if you are seriously to weaken the 
argument in favour of an international language. If you say 
that it is not a want felt by many people, I can only say, at the 
risk of being dogmatic, that you are wrong. I happen to know 
that it is.* The question then is, Is there an easy way of meeting 
that want? And the equally certain and well-grounded answer 
is, There is. ... 

" As to your argument that what is easy is more easily forgotten 
it is true. But I think you must see that, neither in practice 
nor in principle, does it or should it make for choosing the 
harder way of arriving at a given result. Chance the forgetting, 
if necessary re-learning as required, and use the time and effort 
saved for some more remunerative purpose. 

" ' One is God's handiwork, the other a man's toy.' I should 
have said the first was man's lip-work, but I see what you mean. 
It is God working through his creature's natural development. 
The same is equally true of all man's ' toys.' Man moulded his 
language in pursuance of his ends under God. Under the same 
guidance he moulded the steam engine, the typewriter, shorthand, 
the semaphore, and all kinds of signals. What are the philosophical 
differentia that make Esperanto a toy, and natural language God's 
handiwork? Apparently the fact that Esperanto is 'artificial,' 
i.e. consciously produced by art. If this is the criterion, beware 
lest you damn man's works wholesale. If this is not the criterion, 
what is ? 

* I have before me a list of 119 societies, representing many different lines 
of work and play and many nations, who had already in 1903 given in their 
adhesion to a scheme for an international language. Technical terms alone 
(in all departments of study) want standardizing, and an international 
language affords the best means. The number of societies is now (1907) 
over 270. 


" ' An Englishman who knows French and German would do 
much better to devote any extra time at his disposal to the study 
of his own language.' Yes if his object is to qualify as an artist 
in language. No if his object is to save time and trouble in 
communicating with foreigners. You must compare like with like. 
It is unscientific and a confusion of thought to change the subject- 
matter of a man's employment of his time on grounds other than 
those fairly intercomparable. You have dictated as to how a man 
should employ his time by changing his object in employing his 
time. This makes the whole discussion irrelevant, in so far as 
it deals with the comparative advantage of studying one language 
or the other. 

" Time's up ! I have missed my after-lunch walk, and I expect 
only hardened your heart. 

" Yours, 

And I had ! 



THERE is a broad, twofold distinction in the aims with which the 
study of foreign languages is organized and undertaken. 

It serves : first, purely utilitarian ends, and is a means ; 
secondly/fthe purposes of culture, and is an end in itselfo 

An international auxiliary language aims at supplanting the 
first type of study completely, and, as it claims, with profit to the 
students. The second type it (hopes to leave wholly intact, and 
disclaims any attempt to interfere with it in any way. How far 
is this possible fj 

The answer depends mainly upon the efficiency of the alter- 


native offered by the new-comer in each case as a possible 

Firstly, if it is true that a great portion of the human race, 
especially in the big polyglot empires and the smaller states of 
Europe, are groaning under the incubus of the language difficulty, 
and have to spend years on the study of mere words before they 
can fit themselves for an active career, then the abolition of 
this heavy handicap on due preparation for each man's proper 
business in life will liberate much time for more profitable studies. 
It is certain that the majority of mankind are non-linguistic 
by nature and inclination rather than linguistic i.e. that 
the best chance of developing their natural capacities to the 
utmost and making them useful and agreeable members of society 
does not lie in making all alike swallow an overdose of foreign 
languages during the acquisitive years of youth. By doing so, 
vast waste is caused, taking the world round. As to the attain- 
ment of the object of this first type of language study, not only 
is it as efficiently secured by a single universal language, but far 
more so. Ex hypothesi the object is utilitarian ; the language is 
a means. Well, a universal language is a better means than a 
national one first, because, being universal, it is a means to 
more ; secondly, because, being easy and one, it is a means that 
more people can grasp and employ. In fact, it is in this field an 
efficient substitute ; it saves much, without losing anything. 

{For the second type of language-study, on the other hand, 
where the end is culture and the language is studied for itself 
and in no wise as an indifferent means, a universal artificial 
language offers no substitute at aly This end is not on its 
programme. Why, then, should any language-study that is 
organized in view of culture be given up on its account ? 

Jt may, of course, be said that the time given to it by those 
who pursue culture in language will be taken from the time 
devoted to more worthy linguistic study, and will therefore 
prejudice the learning of other languages^) This is a point of 
technical pedagogics or psychology. There is very good reason, 


from the standpoint of these sciences, to believe that a study of 
a simple type-tongue would, on the contrary, pay for itself in 
increased facility in learning other languages. But this is more 
fully discussed in the chapter for teachers (see pp. 145-55). 

The question, however, is not in reality quite so simple as this. 
There is no water-tight partition between utilitarian and cultural 
language-study. They act and react upon each other. (There 
really is some ground for anxiety, lest the provision of facilities 
for learning an easy artificial language at your door may prevent 
people from going out of their way to learn national ones, which 
would have awakened scholarly instincts^ in them. The cause of 
culture would thus sustain some real hurt/ 

The question is another phase a wider and lower-grade phase 
of the great compulsory Greek question at Oxford and Cam- 
bridge. It affects the masses, whereas the Greek controversy 
affects the few at the top; but otherwise the issue at stake is 
essentially the same. 

In both cases the bedrock of the problem is this, Can we 
afford to put the many through a grind, which is on the whole 
unprofitable to them and does not attain its object of conferring 
culture, in order to uphold the traditional system in the interests 
of the few ? In neither case do the reformers desire to suppress 
the study of the old culture-giving language ; rather it is hoped 
that the interests of scholarly and liberal learning will benefit by 
being freed from the dead weight of grammar grinders, whose 
mechanical performance and monkey antics are merely a dodge 
to catch a copper from the examiners. 

When Greek is no longer bolstered up by the protection of 
compulsion, some of the present bounty-fed (i.e. compulsion-fed) 
facilities for its study will no doubt disappear from the schools 
which are at present forced to provide them. With them will be 
lost some recruits who would have been led by the facilities to 
study Greek, and would have studied it to their profit. On the 
other hand, the university will be open to numbers of students 
who are at present shut out by the Greek tariff. Another barrier 


against modernity will go down, and democracy make another 
step out of the proverbial gutter towards the university. 

Similarly, the possession of a universally understood medium 
of communication will in some cases deter people from making 
the effort to study real language, with all the treasures of original 
literature to which it is the key. 

'Tis true, 'tis pity ; and pity 'tis, 'tis true. 

But and this is the great point it will open the cosmopolitan 
outlook to countless thousands who could never hope to grapple 
successfully with even one national language. This cannot be a 
small gain. 

It all comes back to this you cannot eat your cake and have it 
too. II faut souffrir pour lire belle. The international language 
has the defects of its qualities. But then its qualities are great, 
and the world is their sphere of utility. 



THIS is a particularly unfortunate objection, because it displays 
a radical ignorance of the history of language, and of the 
conditions under which it develops. 

In the first place, the whole tendency of language in the 
modern world is towards disappearance of local dialects, and 
their absorption into a uniform literary language. The dialects of 
England are almost dead before the onset of universal education, 
and the great work of Dr. Wright was only just in time to rescue 
them from oblivion. Even one generation hence it will be 
impossible to collect much of the local speech recorded in his 
dictionary. It is the same in Germany and everywhere, though, 
of course, all countries are not equally advanced in this respect. 
A standard form of words and grammar is fixed by print for the 



literary language, and when every one can read and write, it is all 
up with national evolution of language, such as has produced all 
national languages. A gradual change of the phonetic value given 
to the written symbols there may be. This has been pre-eminently 
the case in England, though even this will now be arrested by 
universal education. But a change of forms or of grammar can 
only be indefinitely slight and gradual. When it takes place, it 
reflects a common advance of the literary language, and not local 
or dialectical variation (though the common advance may have 
originally spread from one locality). 

In the second place, dialects are variations that spring up 
under the stress of local circumstance in the familiar every-day 
unconscious use of a common mother tongue among people of 
the same race and inhabiting the same district. Now, these are 
the very circumstances in which an auxiliary international language 
never can, and never will, be used. The only exception is the 
case of people meeting together for the conscious practice of the 
language or using it in jest. 

There are no occasions when an international language would 
be naturally used when any variation from standard usage would 
not be a distinct disadvantage as tending to unintelligibility. In 
short, a neutral language consciously learned as a means of com- 
munication with strangers is not on an equal footing with, or 
exposed to the same influences as, a mother tongue used by 
people every day under like conditions. 

A cardinal point of difference is well illustrated by Esperanto. 
The whole foundation of the language, vocabulary, grammar, and 
everything else, is contained in one small book of a few pages, 
called Fundamento de Esperanto, No change can be made in this 
except by a competent elected international authority. Of course, 
no text-books or grammars will be authorized for the use of any 
nation that are not in accordance with the Fundamento. People 
will make mistakes, of course, just as they make mistakes in any 
foreign language, and they can help themselves out with any 
words from other languages, just as they do now when their 


French or German fails them. But the standard is always there, 
simple and short, to correct any aberration, and there is no room 
for any alterations in form or structure to creep in. 




IT is true that Esperantists refuse to make any change in their 
language at present, and this is found irritating by some able 
critics, who wrongly imagine that this attitude amounts to a 
claim of perfection for Esperanto. The matter may be easily put 

The inadmissibility of change (even for the better) is purely 
a matter of policy and dictated by practical considerations. 
Esperantists make no claim to infallibility ; they want to see 
their language universally adopted, and they want to see it as 
perfect as possible. Actual and bitter experience shows that the 
international language which admits change is lost. Universal 
acceptance and present change are incompatible. Esperantists, 
therefore, bow to the inevitable and deliberately choose to con- 
centrate for the present on acceptance. General acceptance, 
indeed, while it imposes upon the present body of Esperantists 
self-restraint in abstaining from change, is in reality the essential 
condition of profitable future amendment. When an international 
language has attained the degree of dissemination already enjoyed 
by Esperanto, the only safe kind of change that can be made is 
a posteriori, not a priori. When Esperanto has been officially 
adopted and comes into wide use, actual experience and consensus 
of usage amongst its leading writers will indicate the modifications 
that are ripe for official adoption. The competent international 
official authority will then from time to time duly register such 
changes, and they will become officially part of the language. 


Till then, any change can only cause confusion and alienate 
support. No one is going to spend time learning a language 
which is one thing to-day and another thing to-morrow. When 
the time comes for change, the authority will only proceed 
cautiously one step at a time, and its decrees will only set the seal 
upon that which actual use has hit off. 

This, then, is the explanation of the famous adjective 
" netusebla," applied by Dr. Zamenhof to his language, and so 
much resented in certain quarters. Surely not only is this degree of 
dogmatism amply justified by practical considerations, but it would 
amount to positive imprudence on the part of Esperantists to act 
otherwise. If the inventor of the language can show sufficient 
self-restraint, after long years spent in touching and retouching his 
language, to hold his hand at a given point (and he has declared 
that self-restraint is necessary), surely others need not be hurt at 
their suggestions not being adopted, even though they may in 
some cases be real improvements. 

The following extracts, translated from the Preface to Funda- 
mento de Esperanto (the written basic law of Esperanto), should 
set the question in the right light. It will be seen that Dr. 
Zamenhof expressly contemplates the " gradual perfection " 
(perfektigado) of his language, and by no means lays claim to 
finality or infallibility. 

"Having the character of fundament, the three works 
reprinted in this volume must be above all inviolable (netuseblaj}. 
. . , The fundament must remain inviolable even with its 
errors. . . . Having once lost its strict inviolability, the work 
would lose its exceptional and necessary character of dogmatic 
fundamentality ; and the user, finding one translation in one 
edition, and another in another, would have no security that I 
should not make another change to-morrow, and his confidence 
and support would be lost. 

"To any one who shows me an expression that is not good in 
the Fundamental book, I shall calmly reply : Yes, it is an error ; 
but it must remain inviolable, for it belongs to the fundamental 


document, in which no one has the right to make any change. . . . 
I showed, in principle, how the strict inviolability of the Funda- 
mento will always preserve the unity of our language, without 
however preventing the language not only from becoming richer, 
but even from constantly becoming more perfect. But in practice 
we (for causes already many times explained) must naturally be 
very cautious in the process of ' perfecting ' the language : (a) 
we must not do this light-heartedly, but only in case of absolute 
necessity ; (b) it can only be done (after mature judgment) by 
some central institution, having indisputable authority for the 
whole Esperanto world, and not by any private persons. . . . 

" Until the time when a central authoritative institution shall 
decide to augment (never to change) the existing fundament by 
rendering official new words or rules, everything good, which 
is not to be found in the Fundamento de Esperanto, is to be 
regarded not as compulsory, but only as recommended." 



AN attempt has been made in the preceding chapters to deal with 
the more important and obvious arguments put forward by those 
who will hear nothing of an international language. The objec- 
tions are, however, so numerous, cover such a wide field, and in 
some cases are so mutually destructive, that it may be instructive 
to present them in an orderly classification. 

For there we have them all "at one fell swoop," 
Instead of being scattered through the pages ; 

They stand forth marshalled in a handsome troop, 
To meet the ingenuous youth of future ages. 


Let us hope that they will die of exposure, like the famous 
appendix pilloried by Byron, and that the ingenuous one will be 
able to regard them as literary curiosities. 


If the business of an argument is to be unanswerable, the place 
of honour certainly belongs to the religious argument. Any one 
who really believes that an international language is an impious 
attempt to reverse the judgment of Babel will continue firm 
in his faith, though one speak with the tongues of men and 
of angels. 

Here, then, are the objections, classified according to content. 



I. Religious. 

It is doomed to confusion, because it reverses the judgment of 

II. Aesthetic and sentimental. 

(1) It is a cheap commercial scheme, unworthy of the attention 
of scholars. 

(2) It vulgarizes the world and tends to dull uniformity. 

(3) It weakens patriotism by diluting national spirit with 

(4) It has no history, no link with the past. 

(5) It is artificial, which is a sin in itself. 

III. Political. 

(1) It is against English [Frenchmen read "French"] interests, 
as diverting prestige from the national tongue. 

(2) It is socialistic and even anarchical in tendency, and will 
facilitate the operations of the international disturbers of society. 

IV. Literary and linguistic. 

(1) Lacking history and associations, it is unpoetical and 
unsuited to render the finer shades of thought and feeling. It 
will, therefore, degrade and distort the monuments of national 
literatures which may be translated into it. 

(2) It may even discourage authors, ambitious of a wide public, 
from writing in their own tongue. Original works in the artificial 


language can never have the fine savour of a master's use of his 
mother tongue. 

(3) Its precisely formal and logical vocabulary and construction 
debauches the literary sense for the niceties of expression. There- 
fore, even if not used as a substitute for the mother tongue, its 
concurrent use, which will be thrust on everybody, will weaken 
the best work in native idioms. 

(4) It will split up into dialects. 

(5) Pronunciation will vary so as to be unintelligible. 

(6) It is too dogmatic, and refuses to profit by criticism. 

V. Educational and cultural. 

(1) It will prejudice the study of modern languages. 

(2) It will provide a " soft option " for examinees. 

VI. Personal and particular. 

It is prejudicial to the vested interests of modern language 
teachers, foreign correspondence clerks, interpreters, multilingual 
waiters and hotel porters. 

VII. Technical. 

This heading includes the criticisms in detail of various 
schemes e.g. it is urged against Esperanto that its accent is 
monotonous ; that its accusative case is unnecessary ; that its 
principle of word-formation from roots is not strictly logical ; 
that its vocabulary is too Romance; that its vocabulary is not 
Romance enough ; and so forth. 

VIII. Popular. 

(1) It is a wild idea put forth by a set of cranks, who would be 
better occupied in something else. 

(2) It is impossible. 

(3) It is too hard : life isn't long enough. 

(4) It is not hard enough : lessons will be too quickly done, 
and will not sink into the mind. 

(5) It will oust all other languages, and thus destroy each 
nation's birthright and heritage. 


(6) It will not come in in our time, so the question is of no 
interest except to our grandchildren. 

(7) It is doomed to failure look at Volapiik ! 

(8) There are quite enough languages already. 

(9) You have to learn three or four languages in order to 
understand Esperanto. 

(10) You cannot know it without learning it. 
(n) You have to wear a green star. 

Pains have been taken to make this list exhaustive. If any 
reader can think of another objection, he is requested to com- 
municate with the author. 

Most of the serious arguments have been already dealt with, so 
that not many words need be said here. As regards No. VII. 
(Technical), this is not the place to deal with actual criticisms 
of the language (Esperanto) that holds the field. The reader 
will not be in a position to judge of them till he has learnt it. 
Suffice it to say that they can all be met, and some of the points 
criticised as vices are, in reality, virtues in an artificial language. 

As for Nos. II. and IV. (Sentimental and Literary), most of 
these objections are due to the old heresy of the literary man, 
that an artificial language claims to compete with natural languages 
as a language. Once realize that it is primarily a labour-saving 
device, and therefore to be judged like any other modern inven- 
tion such as telegraphy or shorthand, and most of these objections 
fall to the ground. 

A good many of the objections cannot be taken seriously 
(though they have all been seriously made), or refute themselves 
or each other. No. VIII. (10) sounds like a fake, but this was 
the criticism of a scholar and linguist who had been persuaded 
to look at Esperanto. He complained that though he, knowing 
Latin, French, Italian, German, and English, could read it without 
ever having learnt it, ordinary Englishmen could not. It is usual 
to judge an invention by efficiency compared to cost, but if an 
appliance is to be condemned because it needs some trouble to 
master it, then not many inventions will survive. 


No. VIII. (9) is of course a mistake. It is like saying that you 
must practice looping the loop or circus-riding in order to keep 
your balance on a bicycle. The greater, of course, includes the 
less ; but it is better in both cases to begin with the less. It is 
much more reasonable to reverse the argument and say : If you 
begin by learning Esperanto, you will possess a valuable aid 
towards learning three or four national languages. 

No. VIII. (5) is absurd. It is the hardest thing in the world 
to extirpate a national language ; and all the forces of organized 
repression (e.g. in unhappy Poland) are finding the task too much 
for them. What inducement have the common people, who form 
the bulk of the population in every land, to substitute in their 
home intercourse for their own language one that they have to 
learn, if at all, artificially at school ? Only those who have much 
international intercourse will ever become really at home in 
international language i.e. sufficiently at home to make it possible 
to use it indifferently as a substitute for their mother-tongue; 
and people who engage in prolonged and continuous international 
intercourse, though numerous, will always be in a minority. 



IN the civilized West, where pleasure, business, and science are 
daily forging new ties of common interests between the nations, 
those engaged in such pursuits have clearly much to gain from 
the simplification of their pursuits by a common language. But 
let us look ahead a little further still. It may well be that the 
outstanding feature of the twentieth century in history will be the 
coming into line of the peoples of Asia with their pioneer brethren 
of the West. Look where you will, everywhere the symptoms are 
plain for those who can read them. Japan has led the way. 
China is following, and will not be far behind ; eventually, as the 
Japanese themselves foresee, she will probably outstrip Japan, if 


not the world. There seems to be no ground, ethnological or 
otherwise, for thinking that the lagging behind of Asia in modern 
civilization corresponds to a real inferiority of powers, mental or 
physical, in the individual Asiatic. Experience shows that under 
suitable conditions the Asiatic can efficiently handle all the white 
man's tools and weapons ; the complete coming up to date is 
largely a matter of organization, education, and the possession of 
a few really able men at the head of affairs. Given these, 
progress may be astonishingly quick. Europeans do not yet seem 
to have grasped at all adequately the real significance of the last 
fifty years of Japanese history. Do they really think that the 
Chinaman is inferior to the Japanese ? If so, let them ask any 
residents in the Far East. Can it be maintained that a generation 
ago the peasant of Eastern Europe was ahead of the country 
Chinaman ? But the last few years have shown how swiftly 
modern civilization spreads, both in Europe and America, from 
the comparatively small group of nations which in the main have 
worked it out to the others, till lately considered backward and 
semi-barbarous. And this is the case not merely with the material 
products of civilization, the railway and the telegraph, but also as 
regards its divers manifestations in all that concerns the life of the 
people constitutional government with growth of representative, 
elected authorities and democracy ; universal education with 
universal power of reading and consequent birth of a cheap press ; 
rise of industry and consequent growth of towns; universal 
military service and discipline, now in force in most lands ; rise of 
a moneyed and leisured class and consequent growth of sport, 
and of all kinds of clubs and societies for promoting various 
interests, social, sporting, political, religious, educational, philan- 
thropic, and so forth. In fact, the more the material side of life 
is " modernized," the more closely do the citizens of all lands 
approximate to one another in their interests and activities, which 
ultimately rest upon and grow out of their material conditions. 
Meantime wealth and consequently foreign travel everywhere 
increase, fresh facilities of communication are constantly pro- 


vided, men from different countries are more and more thrown 
together, and all this makes for the further strengthening of 
mutual interests and the growth of fresh ones in common. 

Now if (i) under the stress of "modernization" life is already 
becoming so similar in the lands of the West, and if (2) the 
Asiatic is not fundamentally inferior in mental and physical 
endowments, then it follows as a certainty that the Asiatic world 
will, under the same stress, enter the comity of nations, and 
approximate to the world-type of interest and activity. It is only 
a question of time. In economic history nothing is more certain 
than that science, organization, cheapness, and efficiency must 
ultimately prevail over sporadic, unorganized local effort based on 
tradition and not on scientific exploitation of natural advantages. 
Thus the East will adopt the material civilization of the West ; 
and through the same organization of industrial and commercial 
life and generally similar economic conditions, the same type of 
moneyed class will grow up, with the same range of interests on 
the intellectual and social side, diverse indeed, but in their very 
diversity conforming more and more to the world-type. 

Concurrently with this new tendency to uniformity proceeds the 
weakening of the two most powerful disintegrating influences of 
primitive humanity religion and tradition. In the earlier stages 
of society these are the two most powerful agents for binding 
together into groups men already associated by the ties of locality 
and common ancestry, and fettering them in the cast-iron bonds 
of custom and ceremonial observance. While the members of 
each group are thus held together by the ideas which appeal most 
profoundly to unsophisticated mankind, the various groups are 
automatically and by the same process held apart by the full force 
of those ideas. Thus are produced castes, with their deadening 
opposition to all progress; and thus arise crusades, wars of 
religion and persecutions. Religion and tradition are then at 
once the mightiest integrants within each single community, and 
the mightiest disintegrants as between different communities. 

But this narrow and dissevering spirit of caste dies back before 


the spread of knowledge. The tendency to regard a man 
unclean or a barbarian, simply because he does not believe or 
behave as one's own people, is merely a product of isolation and 
ignorance, and disappears with education and the general opening 
up of a country. The inquisitor can no longer boast of " strained 
relations " strained physically on the rack, owing to differences of 
religious opinion. The state of things which made it possible for 
sepoys to revolt because rifle bullets were greased with the fat of 
a sacred animal, or for yellow men to tear up railway tracks 
because the magic desecrated the tombs of their ancestors, is 
rapidly passing away, as Orientals realize the profits to be made 
from scientific methods. 

Thus the levelling influence is at work, and the checks upon 
it are diminishing. The end can be but one. There will be a 
greater and greater similarity of life and occupation the world 
over, and more and more actual and potential international 

Now, the further we move in this direction, the greater will be 
the impatience of vexatious restraints upon the freedom of inter- 
course ; and of these restraints the difference of language is one 
of the most vexatious, because it is one of the easiest to remove. 
If we devote millions of pounds to annihilating the barriers of 
space, can we not devote a few months to the comparatively 
modest effort necessary to annihilate the barriers of language ? 

A real cosmopolitanism, in the etymological sense of the word, 
world (and not merely European) citizenship, will shift the onus 
probandi from the supporters of an international language to its 
opponents. It will say to them, " It is admitted that you have 
much intercourse with other peoples ; it is admitted that diversity 
of language is an obstacle in this intercouse ; this obstacle is 
increasing rather than diminishing as fresh subjects raise their 
claims upon the few years of education, and the old leisurely type 
of linguistic education fails more and more to train the bulk of 
the people for life's business, and as the ranks of the civilized are 
swelled by fresh peoples for whom it is harder and harder to learn 


even one Indo-Germanic tongue, let alone several ; it is proved 
that this obstacle can be removed at the cost of a few months' 
study : this study is not only the most directly remunerative study 
in the world, comparing results with cost, but it is an admirable 
mental discipline and a direct help towards further real linguistic 
culture-giving studies for those who are fit to undertake them. 
Show cause, then, why you prefer to suffer under an unnecessary 
obstacle, rather than avail yourselves of this means of removing it." 
It is easier for the Indo-Germanic peoples to learn each other's 
languages e.g. for an Englishman to learn Swedish or Russian 
than it is for a speaker of one of any of the other families of 
languages to learn any Indo-Germanic tongue ; so that some idea 
may be formed of the magnitude of the task imposed upon the 
newer converts to Western civilization by the Indo-Germanic 
world, in making them learn one or more of its national languages. 
At the same time, it is but just that the peoples who have paid 
the piper of progress should call the common lingual tune. 
Therefore, what more fitting than that they should provide an 
essence of their allied languages, reduced to its simplest and 
clearest form ? This they would offer to the rest of the world to 
be taken over as part of the general progress in civilization which 
it has to adopt ; and this it is which is provided in the international 
language, Esperanto. 



Now that higher education for the blind is being extended in 
every country, owing to the more humanitarian feeling of the 
present age that these afflicted members of the community ought 
to be given a fair chance, the problem of supplying them with 
books is beginning to be felt. The process of producing books 
for the blind on the Braille system is, of course, far more costly 
than ordinary printing, and at the same time the editions must 


be necessarily more or less limited. Many an educated blind 
person is therefore cruelly circumscribed in the range of literature 
open to him by the mere physical obstacle of the lack of books. 
This difficulty is accentuated by the fact that three kinds of 
Braille type are in use French, English, and American. 

Now, suppose it is desired to make the works of some good 
author accessible to the blind we will say the works of Milton. 
A separate edition has to be done into Braille for the English, 
another separate translation for the French, and so on for the 
blind of each country. In many cases where translations of a 
work do not already exist, as in the case of a modern author, the 
mere cost of translation into some one language may not pay, 
much less then the preparation of a special Braille edition for the 
limited blind public of that country. But if one Braille edition 
is prepared for the blind of the world in the universal auxiliary 
language, a far greater range of literature is at once brought 
within their grasp. 

Already there is abundant evidence of the keen appreciation of 
Esperanto on the part of the blind, and one striking proof is the 
fact that the distinguished French scientist and doctor, Dr. Javal, 
who himself became blind during the latter part of his life, was, 
until his death in March 1907, one of the foremost partisans and 
benefactors of Esperanto. By his liberality much has been 
rendered possible that could not otherwise have been accom- 
plished. There are many other devoted workers in the same 
field, among them Prof. Cart and Mme. Fauvart-Bastoul in 
France, and Mr. Rhodes, of Keighley, and Mr. Adams, of 
Hastings, in England. A special fund is being raised to enable 
blind Esperantists from various countries to attend the Congress 
at Cambridge in August 1907, and the cause is one well worthy 
of assistance by all who are interested in the welfare of the blind. 
The day when a universal language is practically recognised will 
be one of the greatest in their annals. 

A perfectly phonetic language, as is Esperanto, is peculiarly 
suited to the needs of the blind. Its long, full vowels, slow, 


harmonious intonation, few and simple sounds, and regular con- 
struction make it very easy to learn through the ear, and to 
reproduce on any phonetic system of notation ; and as a matter 
of fact, blind people are found to enjoy it much. For a blind 
man to come to an international congress and be able to compare 
notes with his fellow-blind from all over the world must be a 
lifting of the veil between him and the outer world, coming next 
to receiving his sight. To witness this spectacle alone might 
almost convince a waverer as to the utility of the common 



FROM the early days of the Esperanto movement there has 
flowed within it a sort of double current. There is the warm and 
genial Gulf Stream of Idealism, that raises the temperature on 
every shore to which it sets, and calls forth a luxuriant growth of 
friendly sentiment. This tends to the enriching of life. There is 
also the cooler current of practicality, with a steady drive towards 
material profit. At present the tide is flowing free, and, taken at 
the flood, may lead on to fortune ; the two currents pursue their 
way harmoniously within it, without clashing, and sometimes 
mingling their waters to their mutual benefit. 

But as the movement is sometimes dismissed contemptuously 
as a pacifist fad or an unattainable ideal of universal brotherhood, 
it is as well to set the matter in its true light. It is true that the 
inventor of Esperanto, Dr. Zamenhof, of Warsaw, is an idealist 
in the best sense of the word, and that his language was directly 
inspired by his ardent wish to remove one cause of misunder- 
standing in his distracted country. He has persistently refused 
to make any profit out of it, and declined to accept a sum which 
some enthusiasts collected as a testimonial to his disinterested 


It is equally true that Esperanto seems to possess a rather 
strange power of evoking enthusiasm. Meetings of Esperantists 
are invariably characterized by great cordiality and good-fellowship, 
and at the international congresses so far these feelings have at 
times risen to fever heat. It is easy to make fun of this by saying 
that the conjunction of Sirius, the fever-shedding constellation of 
the ancients, with the green star * in the dog days of August, when 
the congresses are held, induces hot fits. Those who have drunk 
enthusiastic toasts in common, and have rubbed shoulders and 
compared notes with various foreigners, and gone home having 
made perhaps lifelong interesting friendships which bring them 
in touch with other lands, will not undervalue the brotherhood 
aspect of the common language. 

On the other hand, the united Esperantists at their first inter- 
national meeting expressly and formally dissociated their project 
from any connection with political, sentimental, or peace-making 
schemes. They did this by drawing up and promulgating a 
" Deklaracio," adopted by the Esperantist world, wherein it is 
declared that Esperanto is a language, and a language only.t It is 
not a league or a society or agency for promoting any object 
whatsoever other than its own dissemination as a means of com- 
munication. Like other tongues, Esperanto may be used for any 
purpose whatsoever, and it is declared that a man is equally an 
Esperantist whether he uses the language to save life or to kill, 
to further his own selfish ends or to labour in any altruistic 
cause. J 

* Badge of the Esperantists. 

f For text of this Declaration, see Part II., chap, vii., p. 115. 

J The non-sectarian nature of Esperanto is shown by the fact that the first 
two services in the language were held on the same day in Geneva according 
to the Roman Catholic and Protestant rites. The latter was conducted by an 
English clergyman, whose striking sermon on unity, in spite of diversity, 
evidently impressed his international congregation. The Vatican has officially 
expressed its favour towards Esperanto, and the Archbishop of Canterbury 
has sanctioned an Esperanto form of the Anglican service, which will be used 
in London and Cambridge this summer. Cordial goodwill was expressed 


The practical nature of the scheme which Esperantists are 
labouring to induce the world to adopt is thus sufficiently clearly 
defined. Dr. Zamenhof himself, speaking at the Geneva Congress 
with all the vivid poignancy attaching to the words of a man 
fresh from the butcheries at that moment rife in the Russian 
Empire,* declared that neither he nor other Esperantists were 
naifs enough to believe that the adoption of their language would 
put an end to such scenes. But he had seen men at each other's 
throats, beating each other's brains out with bludgeons men who 
had no personal enmity and had never seen each other before, 
but were let loose on each other by pure race prejudice. He did 
claim that mutual incomprehensibility amongst men who thus 
dwell side by side and should be taking part in a common civic life 
was one powerful influence in keeping up cliques and divisions, 
and artificially holding asunder those whom common interests 
should be joining together. It is hard to refuse credence to this 
power of language, thus moderately stated. 



ANOTHER vexed question is whether it is advisable to run an 
international language on a literary or a commercial ticket. 
On this rock Volapiik split 

A brave vessel, 

That had no doubt some noble creature in her, 
Dashed all to pieces ; \ 

and there was no Prospero to conjure away the tempest and 

towards the Vatican, on receipt of its message at Geneva, by speakers who 
avowed themselves agnostics, but welcomed any advance towards abolition of 

* There were bad massacres about that time in Warsaw, where Dr. 
Zamenhof lives. During the Congress news came of the assassination of one 
of the chief civic officials of Warsaw. 

t Shakespeare, The Tempest. 



send everybody safe home to port to speak Volapiik happily 
ever afterwards. The moral is, that it is no good to make 
exaggerated claims for a universal language. To attempt to set 
it on a fully equal footing with national languages as a literary 
medium is to court disaster. 

The truth seems to be about this. As a potential means of 
international communication, Esperanto is unsurpassed, and a 
long way ahead of any national language. As a literary language, 
it is far better than Chinook or Pidgin, far worse than English 
or Greek. 

A language, no more than a man, can serve two masters. By 
attempting to combine within itself this double function an 
international language would cease to attain either object. The 
reason is simple. 

Its legitimate and proper sphere demands of it as the first 
essential that it should be easy and universally accessible. 
This means that the words are to be few, and must have but 
one clearly marked sense each. There are to be no idioms or 
set phrases, no words that depend upon their context or upon 
allusion for their full sense. 

On the other hand, among the essentials of a literary language 
are the exact opposites of all these characteristics. The 
vocabulary must be full and plenteous, and there should be 
a rich variety of synonyms ; there should be delicate half-tones 
and nuances ; the words should be not mere counters or symbols 
of fixed value, determinable in each case by a rapid use of the 
dictionary alone, but must have an atmosphere, a something de- 
pendent upon history, usage, and allusion, by virtue of which 
the whole phrase, in the finer styles of writing, amounts to 
more than the sum of the individual meanings of the words 
which it contains, becoming a separate entity with an individual 
flavour of its own. To attempt to create this atmosphere in an 
artificial language is not only futile, but would introduce just the 
difficulties, redundancies, and complications which it is its 
chief object to avoid. Take a single instance, Macbeth's 


Nay, this my hand would rather 
The multitudinous seas incarnadine, 
Making the green one red. 

Here the effect is produced by the contrast between the stately 
march of the long Latin words of thundrous sound, and the 
short, sharp English. A labour-saving language has no business 
with such words as " incarnadine " or " multitudinous." In 
translating such a passage it will reproduce the sense faithfully 
and clearly, if necessary by the combination of simple roots ; 
but the bouquet of the original will vanish in the process. This 
is inevitable, and it is even so far an advantage that it removes 
all ground from the argument that a universal language will kill 
scholarly language-learning. It will be just as necessary as ever 
to read works of fine literature in the original, in order to enjoy 
their full savour ; and the translation into the common tongue 
will not prejudice such reading of originals more than, or indeed 
so much as, translations into various mother-tongues. 

Again, take the whole question of the imitative use of 
language. In national literatures many a passage, poetry or 
prose, is heightened in effect by assonance, alliteration, a certain 
movement or rhythm of phrase. Subtle suggestion slides in 
sound through the ear and falls with mellowing cadence into 
the heart. Soothed senses murmur their own music to the 
mind ; the lullaby lilt of the lay swells full the linked sweetness 
of the song. 

The How plays fostering round the What. Down the liquid 
stream of lingual melody the dirge drifts dying dying it echoes 
back into a ghostly after-life, as the yet throbbing sense wakes the 
drowsed mind once more. The Swan-song floats double song 
and shadow ; and in the blend half sensuous, half of thought 
man's nature tastes fruition. 

Now, this verbal artistry, whereby the words set themselves in 
tune to the thoughts, postulates a varied vocabulary, a rich 
storehouse wherein a man may linger and choose among the gems 


of sound and sense till he find the fitting stone and fashion it to 
one of those 

jewels five- words long, 

That on the stretched forefinger of all Time 

Sparkle for ever. 

But the word-store of an international tongue must not be a 
golden treasury of art, a repository of " bigotry and virtue." On 
its orderly rows of shelves must be immediately accessible the 
right word for the right place : no superfluity, no disorder, no 
circumambient margin for effect. Homocea-like, it "touches the 
spot," and having deadened the ache of incomprehensibility, has 
done its task. " No flowers." 

Naturally some peoples will feel themselves more cramped in a 
new artificial language than others. French, incomparably neat 
and clear within its limits, but possessing the narrowest " margin 
for effect," is less alien in its genius from Esperanto than is 
English, with its twofold harmony, its potentiality (too rarely ex- 
ploited) of Romance clarity, and its double portion of Germanic 
vigour and feeling. Yet all languages must probably witness the 
obliteration of some finer native shades in the international 

But we must not go to the opposite extreme, and deny to 
the universal language all power of rendering serious thought. 
Just how far it can go, and where its inherent limitations begin, 
is a matter of individual taste and judgment. There are Esperanto 
translations and good ones of Hamlet^ The Tempest^ Julius 
Caesar, the Aeneid of Virgil, parts of Moliere and Homer, 
besides a goodly variety of other literature. These translations 
do succeed in giving a very fair idea of the originals, as any 
one can test for himself with a little trouble, but, as pointed 
out, they must come something short in beauty and variety of 

There is even a certain style in Esperanto itself in the hands 
of a good writer, of which the dominant notes are simplicity 
and directness two qualities not at all to be despised. Further, 


the unlimited power of word-building and of forming terse com- 
pounds gives the language an individuality of its own. It contains 
many expressive self-explanatory words whose meaning can only 
be conveyed by a periphrasis in most languages,* and this causes 
it to take on the manner and feel of a living tongue, and makes 
it something far more than a mere copy or barren extract of 
storied speech. 

Technically, the fulness of its participial system, rivalled by 
Greek alone, and the absence of all defective verbs, lend to it 
a very great flexibility ; and containing, as it does, a variety of 
specially neat devices borrowed from various tongues, it is in 
a sense neater than any of them. 

One great test of its capacity for literary expression remains 
to be made. This is an adequate translation of the Bible. A 
religious society, famed for the variety of its translations of the 
Scriptures into every conceivable language, when approached 
on the subject, replied that Esperanto was not a language. 
But Esperantists will not "let it go at that." Besides Dr. 
Zamenhofs own Predikanto (Ecclesiastes), an experiment has 
been made by two Germans, who published a translation of 
St. Matthew's Gospel. It is not a success, and further experiments 
have just been made by Prof. Macloskie, of Princeton, U.S.A., 
and by E. Metcalfe, M.A. (Oxon), I cannot say with what result, 
not having seen copies.t 

From one point of view, the directness and simplicity of the 
Bible would seem to lend themselves to an Esperanto dress ; 
but there are certain great difficulties, such as technical ex- 
pressions, archaic diction, and phrases hallowed by association. 
A meeting of those interested in this great work will take place 

* e.g. samideano = partisan of the same cause or idea. 

vivipova lingvo = language capable of independent vigorous existence. 

f Cf. also now the " Ordo de Diservo " (special Anglican Church service), 
selected and translated from Prayer Book and Bible for use in England by the 
Rev. J. C. Rust (obtainable from the British Esperanto Association, 13, 
Arundel Street, Strand, price 7</.). 


at Cambridge during the Congress (August 1907). Experimenters 
in this field will there be brought together from all countries, 
the subject will be thoroughly discussed, and substantial progress 
may be hoped for. 

In the field of rendering scientific literature and current 
workaday prose, whose matter is of more moment than its form, 
Esperanto has already won its spurs. Its perfect lucidity makes 
it particularly suitable for this form of writing. 

The conclusion then is, that Esperanto is neither wholly 
commercial nor yet literary in the full sense 'in which a grown 
language is literary ; but it does do what it professes to do, and it 
is all the better for not professing the impossible. 



THE apostle of a universal language is made to feel pretty plainly 
that he is regarded as a crank. He may console himself with the 
usual defence that a crank is that which makes revolutions ; but 
for all that, it is chilling to be met with a certain smile. 

Let us analyse that smile. It varies in intensity, ranging from 
the scathing sneer damnatory to the gentle dimple deprecatory. 
But in any case it belongs to the category of the smile that won't 
come off. I know that grin it comes from Cheshire. 

What, then, do we mean when we smile at a crank? Firstly 
and generally that we think his ideal impracticable. But it has 
been shown that an international language is not impracticable. 
This alone ought to go far towards removing it from the list of 
cranks' hobbies. 

Secondly, we often mean that the ideal in question is opposed 
to common sense e.g. when we smile at a man who lives on 
protein biscuits or walks about without a hat. We do not 
impugn the feasibility of his diet or apparel, but we think he 


is going out of his way to be peculiar without reaping adequate 
advantage by his departure from customary usage. 

The test of " crankiness," then, lies in the adequacy of the advan- 
tage reaped. A man who learns and uses Esperanto may at present 
depart as widely from ordinary usage as a patron of Eustace 
Miles's restaurant or a member of the hatless brigade ; but is 
it true that the advantage thereby accruing is equally disputable 
or matter of opinion ? Is it not, on the contrary, fairly certain 
that the use of an auxiliary language, if universal, would open up 
for many regions from which exclusion is now felt as a hindrance ? 

Take the case of a doctor, scientist, scholar, researcher in any 
branch of knowledge, who desires to keep abreast of the advance 
of knowledge in his particular line. He may have to wait for 
years before a translation of some work he wishes to read is 
published in a tongue he knows, and in any case all the periodical 
literature of every nation, except the one or two whose languages 
he may learn, will be closed to him. The output of learned work 
is increasing very fast in all civilized countries, and therefore 
results are recorded in an increasing number of languages in 
monographs, reports, transactions, and the specialist press, A 
move is being made in the right direction by the proposal to 
print the publications of the Brussels International Bibliographical 
Institute in Esperanto. 

Take a few examples of the hampering effect upon scholarly 
work of the language difficulty as it already exists. The diffusion 
of learning will, ironically enough, increase the difficulty.* The 
late Prof. Todhunter, of Cambridge, was driven to learning Russian 
for mathematical purposes. He managed to learn enough to 
enable him to read mathematical treatises ; but how many mathe- 
maticians or scientists (or classical scholars, for that matter) could 
do as much ? And of how much profit was the learning of Russian, 
quA Russian, to Prof. Todhunter ? It only took up time which 
could have been better spent, as there cannot be anything very 
uplifting or cultivating in the language of mathematical Russian. 
* By multiplying the languages used. 


Prof. Max Miiller proposed that all serious scientific work 
should be published in one of the six languages following 
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Latin. But 
why should other nations have to produce in these languages ? 
and why should serious students have to be prepared to read 
six languages ? 

All this was many years ago. The balance of culture has 
since then been gradually b*t steadily shifting in favour of 
other peoples. The present writer had occasion to make a 
special study of Byron's influence on the Continent. It turned 
out that one of the biggest and most important works upon 
the subject was written in Polish. It has therefore remained 
inaccessible. This is only an illustration of a difficulty that 
faces many workers. 

Thirdly, there is a good large portion of the British public that 
regards as a crank anything not British or that does not benefit 
themselves personally. It really is hard for an Englishman, 
Frenchman, or German, brought up among a homogeneous 
people of old civilization, to realize the extent of the incubus 
under which the smaller nations of Europe and the polyglot 
empires further east are groaning. Imagine yourself an educated 
Swiss, Dutchman, or a member of any of the thirty or forty 
nationalities that make up the Austrian or Russian Empires. 
How would you like to have to learn three or four foreign 
languages for practical purposes before you could hope to take 
much of a position in life ? Can any one assert that the kind of 
grind required, with its heavy taxation of the memory, is in most 
cases really educative or confers culture ? 

Think it out. What do you really mean when you jeer at an 
Esperantist ? 



An international language is not an attempt to replace or 
damage in any way any existing language or literature^ 



An international language is an attempt to save the greatest 
amount of labour and open the widest fields of thought and 
action to the greatest number.^ 




THOUGH the idea of an artificially constructed language to meet 
the needs of speakers of various tongues seems for some reason 
to contain something absurd or repellent to the mind of Western 
Europeans, there have, as a matter of fact, been various attempts 
made at different times and places to overcome the obvious 
difficulty in the obvious way; and all have met with a large 
measure of success. 

The usual method of procedure has been quite rough and 
ready. Words or forms have been taken from a variety of 
languages, and simply mixed up together, without any scientific 
attempt at co-ordination or simplification. The resulting inter- 
national languages have varied in their degree of artificiality, 
and in the proportions in which they were consciously or semi- 
consciously compiled, or else adopted their elements ready-made, 
without conscious adaptation, from existing tongues. But their 
production, widespread and continuous use, and great practical 
utility, showed that they arose in response to a felt want. The 
wonder is that the world should have grown so old without 
supplying this want in a more systematic way. 

Every one has heard of the lingua franca of the Levant. In 



India the master-language that carries a man through among a 
hundred different tribes is Hindustanee, or Urdu. At the outset 
it represented a new need of an imperial race. It had its origin 
during the latter half of the sixteenth century under Akbar, 
and was born of the sudden extension of conquest and affairs 
brought about by the great .ruler. Round him gathered a 
cosmopolitan crowd of courtiers, soldiers, vassal princes, and 
followers of all kinds, and wider dealings than the ordinary 
local petty affairs received a great stimulus. Urdu is a good 
example of a mix-up language, with a pure Aryan framework 
developed out of a dialect of the old Hindi. In fact, it is to 
India very much what Esperanto might be to Europe, only it 
is more empirical, and not so consciously and scientifically 
worked out. 

Somewhat analogous to Urdu, in that it is a literary language 
used by the educated classes for intercommunication throughout 
a polygot empire, is the Mandarin Chinese. If China is not 
"polygot" in the strict technical sense of the term, she is so 
in fact, since the dialects used in different provinces are mutually 
incomprehensible for the speakers of them. Mandarin is the 
official master-language. 

Rather of the nature si patois are Pidgin-English, Chinook, and 
Benguela, the language used throughout the tribes of the Congo. 
Yet business of great importance and involving large sums of 
money is, or has been, transacted in them, and they are used over 
a wide area. 

Pidgin consists of a medley of words, largely English, but with 
a considerable admixture from other tongues, combined in the 
framework of Chinese construction. It is current in ports all over 
the East, and is by no means confined to China. The principle 
is that roots, chiefly monosyllabic, are used in their crude form 
without inflection or agglutination, the mere juxtaposition (without 
any change of form) showing whether they are verbs, adjectives, 
etc. This is the Chinese contribution to the language. 

Chinook is the key-language to dealings with the huge number 


of different tribes of American Indians. It contains a large 
admixture of French words, and was to a great extent artificial!) 
put together by the Hudson Bay Company's officials, for the 
purposes of their business. 

Quite apart from these various more or less consciously con- 
structed mixed languages, there is a much larger artificial element 
in many national languages than is commonly realized. Take 
modern Hungarian, Greek, or even Italian. Literary Italian, 
we know it, is largely an artificial construction for literary pur- 
poses, made by Dante and others, on the basis of a vigorous and 
naturally supple dialect. With modern Greek this is even more 
strikingly the case. As a national language it is almost purely 
the work of a few scholars, who in modern times arbitrarily and 
artificially revived and modified the ancient Greek. 

There seems, then, to be absolutely no foundation in experience 
for opposing a universal language on the score of artificiality. 



List of Schemes proposed 

THE story of Babel in the Old Testament reflects the popular 
feeling that confusion of tongues is a hindrance and a curse. 
Similarly in the New Testament the Pentecostal gift of tongues 
is a direct gift of God. But apparently it was not till about 
300 years ago that philosophers began to think seriously about 
a world-language. 

The earliest attempts were based upon the mediaeval idea that 
man might attain to a perfect knowledge of the universe. The 
whole sum of things might, it was thought, be brought by division 
and subdivision within an orderly scheme of classification. To 


any conceivable idea or thing capable of being represented by 
human speech might therefore be attached a corresponding 
word, like a label, on a perfectly regular and logical system. 
Words would thus be self-explanatory to any person who had 
grasped the system, and would serve as an index or key to the 
things they represented. Language thus became a branch of 
philosophy as the men of the time conceived it, or at all 
events a useful handmaid. Thus arose the idea of a 
"philosophical language." 

A very simple illustration will serve to show what is meant. Go 
into a big library and look up any work in the catalogue. You 
will find a reference number say. 04582, g. 35, c. If you learnt 
the system of classification of that library, the reference number 
would explain to you where to find that particular book out of 
any number of millions. The fact of the number beginning with 
a " o " would at once place the book in a certain main division, 
and so on with the other numbers, till " g " in that series gave 
you a fairly small subdivision. Within that, " 35 " gives you the 
number of the case, and " c " the shelf within the case. The 
book is soon run to earth. 

Just so a word in a philosophical language. Suppose the word 
is brabo. The final o shows it to be a noun. The monosyllabic 
root shows it to be concrete. The initial b shows it to be in the 
animal category. The subsequent letters give subdivisions of the 
animal kingdom, till the word is narrowed down by its form to 
membership of one small class of animals. The other members 
of the class will be denoted by an ordered sequence of words in 
which only the letter denoting the individual is changed. Thus, 
if brabo means " dog," braco may be " cat," and so on : brado, 
brafo, brago . . . etc., according to the classification set up. 

Words, then, are reduced to mere formulae; and grammar, 
inflections, etc., are similarly laid out on purely logical, systematic 
lines, without taking any account of existing languages and their 
structure. To languages of this type the historians of the 
universal language have given the name of a priori languages. 


Directly opposed to these is the other group of artificial lan- 
guages, called a posteriori. These are wholly based on the 
principle of borrowing from existing language : their artificiality 
consists in choice of words and in regularization and simplification 
of vocabulary and grammar. They avoid, as far as possible, any 
elements of arbitrary invention, and confine themselves to adapting 
and making easier what usage has already sanctioned. 

Between the two main types come the mixed languages, partaking 
of the nature of each. 

The following list is taken from the Histoire de la langue 
universelle, by MM. Couturat and Leau : 


1. The philosopher Descartes, in a letter of 1629, forecasts a 
system (realized in our days by Zamenhof) of a regular universal 
grammar : words to be formed with fixed roots and affixes, and 
to be in every case immediately decipherable from the dictionary 
alone. He rejects this scheme as fit "for vulgar minds," and 
proceeds to sketch the outline of all subsequent "philosophic" 
languages. Thus the great thinker anticipates both types of 
universal language. 

2. Sir Thomas Urquhart, 1653 Logopandekteision (see next 

3. Dalgarno, 1661 Ars Signorum. 

Dalgarno was a Scotchman born at Aberdeen in 1626. His 
language is founded on the classification of ideas. Of these there 
are seventeen main classes, represented by seventeen letters. 
Each letter is the initial of all the words in its class. 

4. Wilkins, 1668 An Essay towards a Real Character and a 
Philosophical Language. 

Wilkins was Bishop of Chester, and first secretary and one of 
the founders of the Royal Society. Present members please note. 
His system is a development of Dalgarno's. 


5. Leibnitz, 1646-1716. 

Leibnitz thought over this matter all his life, and there are 
various passages on it scattered through his works, though no 
one treatise is devoted to it. He held that the systems of his 
predecessors were not philosophical enough. He dreamed of a 
logic of thought applicable to all ideas. All complex ideas are 
compounds of simple ideas, as non-primary numbers are of 
primary numbers. Numbers can be compounded ad infinitum. 
So if numbers are translated into pronouncible words, these words 
can be combined so as to represent every possible idea. 

6. Delormel, 1795 (An III) Projet d'une langue universelle. 
Delormel was inspired by the humanitarian ideas of the French 

Revolution. He wished to bring mankind together in fraternity. 
His system rests on a logical classification of ideas on a decimal 

7. Jean Francois Sudre, 1817 Langue musicale universelle. 
Sudre was a schoolmaster, born in 1787. His language is 

founded on the seven notes of the scale, and he calls it Solrsol. 

8. Grosselin, 1836 Systcme de langue universelle. 

A language composed of 1500 words, called "roots," with 100 
suffixes, or modifying terminations. 

9. Vidal, 1844 Langue universelle et analytique. 
A curious combination of letters and numbers. 

TO. Letellier, 1852-1855 Cours complet de langue universelle, 
and many subsequent publications. 

Letellier was a former schoolmaster and school inspector. 
His system is founded on the "theory of language," which is that 
the word ought to represent by its component letters an analysis 
of the idea it conveys. 

ii. Abbe" Bonifacio Sotos Ochando, 1852, Madrid. 

The abbe had been a deputy to the Spanish Cortes, Spanish 


master to Louis Philippe's children, a university professor, and 
director of a polytechnic college in Madrid, etc. His language is 
a logical one, intended for international scientific use, and chiefly 
for writing. He does not think a spoken language for all 
purposes possible. 

12. Societe" Internationale de linguistique. First report dated 
1856. f 

The object of the society was to carry out a radical reform of 
French orthography, and to prepare the way for a universal 
language " the need of which is beginning to be generally felt." 
In the report the idea of adopting one of the most widely spoken 
national languages is considered and rejected. The previous 
projects are reviewed, and that of Sotos Ochando is recommended 
as the best. The a posteriori principle is rejected and the a priori 
deliberately adopted. This is excusable, owing to the fact that 
most projects hitherto had been a priori. The philosopher Charles 
Renouvier gave proof of remarkable prescience by condemning 
the a priori theory in an article in La Itevue, 1855, in which he 
forecasts the a posteriori plan. 

13. Dyer, 1875 Lingitalumina ; or, the Language of Light. 

14. Reinaux, 1877. 

15. Maldent, 1877 La langue naturelle. 
The author was a civil engineer. 

1 6. Nicolas, 1900 Spokil. 

The author is a ship's doctor and former partisan of Volapiik. 

17. Hilbe, 1901 Die Zahlensprache. 

Based on numbers which are translated by vowels. 

1 8. Dietrich, 1902 Volkerverkehrssprache. 

19. Mannus Talundberg, 1904 Perio, eine auf Logik und 
Gedachtnisskunst aufgebaute Weltsprache. 



These are chiefly Volapiik and its derivates. 

1. August Theodor von Grimm, state councillor of the Russian 
Empire, worked out a " programme for the formation of a 
universal language," which contains some a priori elements, as 
well as nearly all the principles which subsequent authors of 
a posteriori languages have realized. 

This Grimm is not to be confused with the famous philologist 
Jacob von Grimm, though he wrote about the same time. 

2. Schleyer, 1879 Volapiik. (See below, p. 92.) 

3. Verheggen, 1886 Nal Bino. 

4. Menet, 1886 Langue universelle. 
An imitation of Volapiik. 

5. Bauer, 1886 Spelin. 

A development of Volapiik with more words taken from neutral 

6. St. de Max, iB^Bopal. 
An imitation of Volapiik. 

7. Dormoy, 1887 Balta. 
A simplification of Volapiik. 

8. Fieweger, 1893 Dil. 

An exaggeration of Volapiik for good and ill. 

9. Guardiola, 1893 Orba. 
A fantastic language. 

10. W. von Arnim, 1896 Veltparl. 
A derivative of Volapiik. 

11. Marchand, 1898 Dilpok. 
Simplified Volapiik. 



12. Bollack, 1899 La langue bltue. 

Aims merely at commercial and common use. Ingenious, but 
too difficult for the memory. 


1. Faiguet, 1765 Langue nouvelle. 

Faiguet was treasurer of France. He published his project, 
which is a scheme for simplifying grammar, in the famous 
eighteenth-century encyclopaedia of Diderot and d'Alembert. 

2. Schipfer, 1839 Communicationssprache. 

This scheme has an historical interest for two reasons. First, 
the fact that it is founded on French reflects the feeling of the 
time that French was, as he says, "already to a certain extent 
a universal language." The point of interest is to compare the 
date when the projects began to be founded on English. In 
1879 Volapiik took English for the base. Secondly, Schipfer's 
scheme reflects the new consciousness of wider possibilities that 
were coming into the world with the development of means of 
communication by rail and steamboat. The author recommends 
the utility of his project by referring to " the new way of 

3. De Rudelle, 1858 Pantos-Dimon-Glossa. 

De Rudelle was a modern-language master in France and 
afterwards at the London Polytechnic. His language is based 
on ten natural languages, especially Greek, Latin, and the 
modern derivatives of Latin, with grammatical hints from English, 
German, and Russian. It is remarkable for having been the 
first to embody several principles of the first importance, which 
have since been more fully carried out in other schemes, and 
are now seen to be indispensable. Among these are : (i) 
distinction of the parts of speech by a fixed form for each ; 
(2) suppression of separate verbal forms for each person ; (3) 
formation of derivatives by means of suffixes with fixed meanings. 


4. Pirro, 1868 Universalsprache. 

Based upon five languages French, German, English, Italian, 
and Spanish and containing a large proportion of words from 
the Latin. 

5. Ferrari, 1877 Monoglottica (?). 

6. Volk and Fuchs, \^^Weltsprache. 
Founded on Latin. 

7. Cesare Meriggi, 1884 Blaia Zimondal, 

8. Courtonne, 1885 Langue Internationale nlo-Latine. 
Based on the modern Romance languages, and therefore not 

sufficiently international. A peculiarity is that all roots are 
monosyllabic. The history of this attempt illustrates the weight 
of inertia against which any such project has to struggle. It 
was presented to the Scientific Society of Nice, which drew up 
a report and sent it to all the learned societies of Romance- 
speaking countries. Answers were received from three towns 
Pau, Sens, and Nimes. It was then proposed to convene 
an international neo-Latin congress; but it is not surprising to 
hear that nothing came of it. 

9. Steiner, 1885 Pasilingua. 

A counterblast to Volapiik. The author aims at copying the 
methods of naturally formed international languages like the 
lingua franca or Pidgin-English. Based on English, French, and 
German ; but the English vocabulary forms the groundwork. 

10. Eichhorn, 1887 Weltsprache. 

Based on Latin. A leading principle is that each part of 
speech ought to be recognizable by its form. Thus nouns have 
two syllables ; adjectives, three ; pronouns, one ; verbal roots, 
one syllable beginning and ending with a consonant ; and so on. 

n. Zamenhof, 1887 Esperanto. (See below, p. 105.) 


12. Bernhard, 1888 Lingua franca nuova. 
A kind of bastard Italian. 

13. Lauda, 1888 Kosmos. 
Draws all its vocabulary from Latin. 

14. Henderson, 1888 Lingua. 

Latin vocabulary with modern grammar. 

15. Henderson, 1902 Latinesce. 

A simpler and more practical adaptation of Latin by the same 
author e.g. the present infinitive form does duty for several 
finite tenses, and words are used in their modern senses. 

1 6. Hoinix (pseudonym for the same indefatigable Mr. 
Henderson), 1889 Anglo-franca. 

A mixture of French and English. Both this and the barbarized 
Latin schemes are fairly easy and certainly simpler than the real 
languages, but they are shocking to the ear, and produce the 
effect of mutilation of language. 

17. Stempel, 1889 Myrana. 

Based on Latin with admixture of other languages. 

1 8. Stempel, 1894 Communia. 

A simplification of No. 17, with a new name. 

19. Rosa, 1890 Nov Latin. 

A set of rules for using the Latin dictionary in a certain way 
as a key to produce something that can be similarly deciphered. 

20. Julius Lott, 1890 Mundolingue. 

Founded on Latin. Lott started an international society for 
a universal language, proposing to build up his language by 
collaboration of savants thus brought together. 

21. Marini, 1891 Mtthode rapide, facile et certaine pour 
construire un idiome universe?. 


22. Liptay, 1892 Langue catholique. 

Based on the theory than an international language already 
exists (in the words common to many languages), and has only 
to be discovered. 

23. Mill, 1893 Anti-Volapiik. 

A simple universal grammar to be applied to the vocabulary of 
each national language. 

24. Braakman, 1894 Der Wereldtaal "El Mundolinco? 
Gramatico del Mundolinco pro li de Hollando Factore (Noordwijk). 

25. Albert Hoessrich (date ?) Talnovos, Monatsschrift fur 
die Einfuhrung und Verbreitung der allgemeinen Verkehrssprache 
" Tal" (Sonneberg, Thuringen). 

26. Heintzeler, 1895 Universala. 

Heintzeler compares the twelve chief artificial languages already 
proposed, and shows that they have much in common. He 
suggests a commission to work out a system on an eclectic basis. 

27. Beermann, 1895 Novilatin. 

Latin brought up to date by comparison with six chief modern 

28. Le Linguist, 1896-7. 

A monthly review conducted by a band of philologists. It 
contains many discussions of the principles which should underly 
an international language, and suggestions, but no complete 

29. Puchner, 1897 Nuove Roman. 

Based largely on Spanish, which the author considers the best 
of the Romance tongues. 

30. Nilson La vest-europish central-dialekt (1890); Lasonebr, 
un transitional lingvo (1897); II dialekt Centralia, un compromiss 


entr il lingu universal de Akademi international e la vest-europish 
central-dialekt (1899). 

31. Kiirschner, 1900 Lingua Komun. 

The author was an Esperantist, but found Esperanto not 
scientific enough. It is almost incredible that a man who knew 
Esperanto should invent a language with several conjugations of 
the verb, but this is what Kiirschner has done. 

32. International Academy of Universal Language, 1902 
Idiom Neutral. (See below, p. 98.) 

33. Elias Molee, 1902 Tutonish ; or, Anglo-German Union 
Tongue. Tutonish; a Teutonic International Language (1904). 

34. Molenaar Panroman, skiz de un ling internazional (in 
Die Religion der Menschheit, March 1903) ; Esperanto oder 
Panroman ? Das Weltsprache-problem und seine einfachste Ldsung 
(1906); Universal Ling-Panroman (in Menschheitsziele, 1906); 
Gramatik de Universal (Leipzig, Puttmann, 1906). 

35. Peano De Latino sineflexione (in Revue de Math'ematique, 
vol. viii., Turin, 1903) ; // Latino quale lingua ausiliare inter- 
nazionale (in Atti della R> Accademia delle Scienze di Torino^ 
1904) ; Vocabulario de Latino Internationale comparato cum Anglo, 
franco, Germano, Hispano, Italo, Russo, Graeco, et Sanscrito 
(Turin> 1904). See also the Formulario mathematico, vol. v. 
(Turin, 1906). 

36. Hummler, 1904 Mundelingua (Saulgau). 

37. Victor Hely, 1905 Esquisse d'une grammaire de la langue 
Internationale, \st part : Les mots et la syntaxe (Langres). 

38. Max Wald, 1906 Pankel ( Weltsprache), die leichteste und 
kiirzeste Sprache fur den internationalen Verkehr. Grammatik 
und Worterbuch mit Aufgabe der Wortquelle (Gross-Beeren). 


39. Greenwood, 1906 Ekselsiore^ the New Universal Language 
for All Nations : a Simplified, Improved Esperanto (London, 

Miller & Gill); Vila, t ulo lingua a otrs (The Ulla Society, 
Bridlington, 1906). 

40. Trischen, 1907 Mondlingvo, provisorische Aufstellung eine r 
internationalen Verkehrssprache (Pierson, Dresden). 



A PERUSAL of the foregoing list shows that in the early days of 
the search for an international language the British were well to 
the fore. Of the British pioneers in this field the first two were 
Scots a fact which accords well with the traditional enterprise 
north of the Tweed, and readiness to look abroad, beyond their 
own noses, or, in this case, beyond their own tongues. It is like- 
wise remarkable that the British have almost dropped out of the 
running in recent times, as far as origination is concerned. Is 
this fact also typical, a small symptom of Jeshurun's general 
fatness ? Does it reflect a lesser degree of nimbleness in moving 
with the spirit of the times ? 

Anyhow, in this case the Briton's content with what he has got 
at home is well grounded. He certainly possesses a first-class 
language. As a curious example of the quaint use of it by a 
scholar and clever man in the middle of the seventeenth century, 
the following account of Sir Thomas Urquhart's book may be of 
some interest. 

Sir Thomas is well known as the translator of Rabelais ; and 
evidently something of the curious erudition, polyglotism, and 
quaintness of conceit of his author stuck to the translator. This 
book is the rarest of his tracts, all of which are uncommon, and 
has been hardly more than mentioned by name by the previous 
writers on the subject. 

The title-page runs : 




Neaudethaumata Chryseomystes 

Chrestasebeia Neleodicastes 

Cleronomaporia Philoponauxesis 

By SIR THOMAS URQUHART, of Cromartie, Knight, 

Now lately contrived and published both for his own Utilitie, 
and that of all Pregnant and Ingenious Spirits. 


Printed and are to be sold by GILES CALVERT 
at the Black Spread-Eagle at the West-end 
of Paul's, and by RICHARD TOMLINS at 
the Sun and Bible near Pye Corner. 1653. 

In a note at the end of the book he apologizes for haste, saying 
that the copy was " given out to two several printers, one alone 
not being fully able to hold his quill a-going." 

The book opens with : 

" The Epistle Dedicatory to Nobody." 
The first paragraph runs : 


"My non-supponent Lord, and Soveraign Master of 
contradictions in adjected terms, that unto you I have presumed 
to tender the dedicacie of this introduction, will not seem strange 
to those, that know how your concurrence did further me to 
the accomplishment of that new Language, into the frontispiece 
whereof it is permitted." 

After some preliminary remarks, he says : 

"Now to the end the Reader may be more enamoured of 
the Language, wherein I am to publish a grammar and lexicon, 


I will here set down some few qualities and advantages peculiar 
to itself, and which no Language else (although all other concurred 
with it) is able to reach unto." 

There follow sixty-six "qualities and advantages," which 
contain the only definite information about the language, for the 
promised grammar and lexicon never appeared. A few may be 
quoted as typical of the inducements held out to " pregnant and 
ingenious spirits," to the end they " may be more enamoured of 
the Language." The good Sir Thomas was plainly an optimist. 

"... Sixthly, in the cases of all the declinable parts of 
speech, it surpasseth all other languages whatsoever : for whilst 
others have but five or six at most, it hath ten, besides the 

"... Eighthly, every word capable of number is better pro- 
vided therewith in this language, then [sic] by any other : for 
instead of two or three numbers which others have, this affordeth 
you four ; to wit, the singular, dual, plural, and redual. 

"... Tenthly, in this tongue there are eleven genders ; wherein 
likewise it exceedeth all other languages. 

"... Eleventhly, Verbs, Mongrels, Participles, and Hybrids 
have all of them ten tenses, besides the present : which number 
no language else is able to attain to. 

"... Thirteenthly, in lieu of six moods, which other languages 
have at most, this one enjoyeth seven in its conjugable words." 

Sir Thomas evidently believed in giving his clients plenty for 
their money. He is lavish of " Verbs, Mongrels, Participles, and 
Hybrids," truly a tempting menagerie. He promises, however, 
a time-reduction on learning a quantity : 

"... Seven and fiftiethly, the greatest wonder of all is that 
of all the languages in the world it is easiest to learn; a boy of 
ten years old being able to attain to the knowledge thereof in 
three months' space; because there are in it many facilitations 
for the memory, which no other language hath but itself." 


Seventeenth-century boys of tender years must have had a 
good stomach for " Mongrels and Hybrids," and such-like dainties 
of the grammatical menu; but even if they could swallow a 
mongrel, it is hard to believe that they would not have strained 
at ten cases in three months. It might be called " casual labour," 
but it would certainly have been "three months' hard." 

After these examples of grammatical generosity, it is not sur- 
prising to read : 

"... Fifteenthly, in this language the Verbs and Participles 
have four voices, although it was never heard that ever any other 
language had above three." 

Note that the former colleagues of the " Verbs and Participles," 
the " Mongrels and Hybrids," are here dropped out of the 
category. Perhaps it is as well, seeing the number of voices 
attributed to each. A four-voiced mongrel would have gone one 
better than the triple-headed hell-hound Cerberus, and created 
quite a special Hades of its own for schoolboys, to say nothing 
of light sleepers. 

Under "five and twentiethly" we learn that "there is no 
Hexameter, Elegiack, Saphick, Asclepiad, lambick, or any other 
kind of Latin or Greek verse, but I will afford you another in 
this language of the same sort " ; which leads up to : 

"... Six and twentiethly, as it trotteth easily with metrical 
feet, so at the end of the career of each line, hath it dexterity, 
after the manner of our English and other vernaculary tongues, 
to stop with the closure of a rhyme ; in the framing whereof, the 
well-versed in that language shall have so little labour, that for 
every word therein he shall be able to furnish at least five 
hundred several monosyllables of the same termination with it." 

A remarkable opportunity for every man to become his own 
poet ! 


"... Four and thirtiethly, in this language also words ex- 
pressive of herbs represent unto us with what degree of cold, 
moisture, heat, or dryness they are qualified, together with some 
other property distinguishing them from other herbs." 

In this crops out the idea that haunted the minds of mediaeval 
speculators on the subject: that language could play a more 
important part than it had hitherto done; that a word, while 
conveying an idea, could at the same time in some way describe 
or symbolize the attributes of the thing named. Imagine the 
charge of thought that could be rammed into a phrase in such a 
language. Imagine too, you who remember the cold shudder of 
your childhood, when you heard the elders discussing a prospective 
dose intensified by all the horrors of imagination when the 
discussion was veiled in the "decent obscurity" of French 
imagine the grim realism of a language containing "words 
expressive of herbs" and expressive to that extent ! 

There seems, indeed, to have been something rather cold- 
blooded about this language : 

"... Eight and thirtiethly, in the contexture of nouns, pro- 
nouns, and preposital articles united together, it administreth 
many wonderful varieties of Laconick expressions, as in the 
Grammar thereof shall more at large be made known unto you." 

But, after all, it had a human side : 

"... Three and fourtiethly, as its interjections are more 
numerous, so are they more emphatical in their respective ex- 
pression of passions, than that part of speech is in any other 
language whatsoever. 

"... Eight and fourtiethly, of all languages this is the most 
compendious in complement, and consequently fittest for Courtiers 

and Ladies." 


Sir Thomas seems to have been a bit of a man of the world 


"... Fiftiethly, no language in matter of Prayer and Ejacu- 
lations to Almighty God is able, for conciseness of expression to 
compare with it ; and therefore, of all other, the most fit for the 
use of Churchmen and spirits inclined to devotion." 

This " therefore," with its direct deduction from " conciseness 
of expression," recalls the lady patroness who chose her in- 
cumbents for being fast over prayers. She said she could always 
pick out a parson who read service daily by his time for the 
Sunday service. 

Sir Thomas is perhaps over-sanguine to a modern taste when 
he concludes : 

" Besides the sixty and six advantages above all other languages, 
I might have couched thrice as many more of no less consideration 
than the aforesaid, but that these same will suffice to sharpen the 
longing of the generous Reader after the intrinsecal and most 
researched secrets of the new Grammar and Lexicon which I am 
to evulge." 


VOLAPUK is the invention of a " white night." Those who know 
their Alice in Wonderland will perhaps involuntarily conjure up 
the picture of the kindly and fantastic White Knight, riding 
about on a horse covered with mousetraps and other strange 
caparisons, which he introduced to all and sundry with the 
unfailing remark, " It's my own invention." Scoffers will not 
be slow to find in Volapiik and the White Knight's inventions 
a common characteristic their , fantasticness. Perhaps there 
really is some analogy in the fact that both inventors had to 
mount their hobby-horses and ride errant through sundry lands, 
thrusting their creations on an unwilling world. But the par- 
ticular kind of white night of which Volapiik was born is the 


nuit blanche, literally = " white night," but idiomatically = " night 
of insomnia." 

On the night of March 31, 1879, the good Roman Catholic 
Bishop Schleyer, cur6 of Litzelstetten, near Constance, could not 
get to sleep. From his over-active brain, charged with a know- 
ledge of more than fifty languages, sprang the world-speech, 
as Athene sprang fully armed from the brain of Zeus. At any 
rate, this is the legend of the origin of Volapiik. 

As for the name, an Englishman will hardly appreciate the 
fact that the word " Volapiik " is derived from the two English 
words " world " and " speech." This transformation of " world " 
into vol and " speech " into puk is a good illustration of the 
manner in which Volapiik is based on English, and suggests 
at once a criticism of that all-important point in an artificial 
language, the vocabulary. It is too arbitrary. 

Published in 1880, Volapiik spread first in South Germany, 
and then in France, where its chief apostle was M. Kerckhoffs, 
modern-language master in the principal school of commerce in 
Paris. He founded a society for its propagation, which soon 
numbered among its members several well-known men of science 
and letters. The great Magasins du Printemps a sort of French 
Whiteley's, and familiar to all who have shopped in Paris 
started a class, attended by over a hundred of its employees ; 
and altogether fourteen different classes were opened in Paris, 
and the pupils were of a good stamp. 

Progress was extraordinarily rapid in other European countries, 
and by 1889, only nine years after the publication of Volapiik, 
there were 283 Volapiik societies, distributed throughout Europe, 
America, and the British Colonies. Instruction books were 
published in twenty-five languages, including Volapiik itself ; 
numerous newspapers, in and about Volapiik, sprang up all over 
the world ; the number of Volapukists was estimated at a 
million. This extraordinarily rapid success is very striking, and 
seems to afford proof that there is a widely felt want for an 
international language. Three Volapiik congresses were held, 


of which the third, held in Paris in 1889, with proceedings 
entirely in Volapiik, was the most important. 

The rapid decline of Volapiik is even more instructive than its 
sensational rise. The congress of Paris marked its zenith : hopes 
ran high, and success seemed assured. Within two years it was 
practically dead. No more congresses were held, the partisans 
dwindled away, the local clubs dissolved, the newspapers failed, 
and the whole movement came to an end. There only remained 
a new academy founded by Bishop Schleyer, and here and there 
a group of the faithful.* 

The chief reason of this failure was internal dissension. First 
arose the question of principle : Should Volapiik aim at being 
a literary language, capable of expressing all the finer shades 
of thought and feeling? or should it confine itself to being a 
practical means of business communication ? 

Bishop Schleyer claimed for his invention an equal rank 
among the literary languages of the world. The practical party, 
headed by M. Kerckhoffs, wished to keep it utilitarian and 
practical. With the object of increasing its utility, they proposed 
certain changes in the language ; and thus there arose, in the 
second place, differences of opinion as to fundamental points 
of structure, such as the nature and origin of the roots to be 
adopted. Vital questions were thus reopened, and the whole 
language was thrown back into the melting-pot. 

The first congress was held at Friedrichshafen in August 1884, 
and was attended almost exclusively by Germans. The second 
congress, Munich, August 1887, brought together over 200 
Volapiikists from different countries. A professor of geology 
from Halle University was elected president, and an International 
Academy of Volapiik was founded. 

Then the trouble began. M. Kerckhoffs was unanimously 
elected director of the academy, and Bishop Schleyer was made 

* A Volapiik journal still appears in Graz, Stiria Volapukabled lezenodik. 
The editor has just (March 1907) retired, and the veteran Bishop Schleyer, 
now seventy-five years old, is taking up the editorship again. 


grand-master (cifaf) for life. Questions arose as to the duties 
of the academy and the respective powers of the inventor of the 
language and the academicians. M. Kerckhoffs was all along 
the guiding spirit on the side of the academy. He was in the 
main supported by the Volapiik world, though there seems to 
have been some tendency, at any rate at first, on the part of the 
Germans to back the bishop. It is impossible to go into details 
of the points at issue. Suffice it to say, that eventually the 
director of the academy carried a resolution giving the inventor 
three votes to every one of ordinary members in all academy 
divisions, but refusing him the right of veto, which he claimed. 
The bishop replied by a threat to depose M. Kerckhoffs from the 
directorship, which of course he could not make good. The 
constitution of the academy was only binding inasmuch as it had 
been drawn up and adopted by the constituent members, and it 
gave no such powers to the inventor. 

So here was a very pretty quarrel as to the ownership of 
Volapiik. The bishop said it belonged to him, as he had 
invented it : he was its father. The academy said it belonged 
to the public, who had a right to amend it in the common 
interest. This child, which had newly opened its eyes and 
smiled upon the world, and upon which the world was then 
smiling back was it a son domiciled in its father's house and 
fully in patria potestatet or a ward in the guardianship of its 
chief promoters ? or an orphan foundling, to be boarded out 
on the scattered-home system at the public expense, and to 
be brought up to be useful to the community at large ? A 
vexed question of paternity ; and the worst of it was, there 
was no international court competent to try the case. 

Meantime the congress of 1889 at Paris came on. Volapiik 
was booming everywhere. Left to itself, it flourished like a green 
bay-tree. This meeting was to set an official seal upon its 
success ; and governments, convinced by this thing done openly 
in the ville lumtire, would accept the fait accompli and introduce 
it into their schools. 


Thirteen countries sent representatives, including Turkey and 
China. The great Kerckhoffs was elected president. The 
proceedings were in Volapiik. The foundling's future was 
canvassed in terms of himself by a cosmopolitan board of 
guardians, who did not yet know what he was. Rather a 
Gilbertian situation. Trying a higher flight, we may say, in 
Platonic phrase, that Volapiik seemed to be about midway 
between being and not-being. It is a far cry from Gilbert vid 
Plato to Mr. Kipling, but perhaps Volapiik, at this juncture, may 
be most aptly described as a " sort of a giddy harumphrodite," 
if not " a devil an' a ostrich an' a orphan-child in one." 

Business done : The congress discusses. 

The congress passed a resolution that there should be drawn 
up " a simple normal grammar, from which all useless rules 
should be excluded," and proceeded to adopt a final constitution 
for the Volapiik Academy. 

Article 15 says: "The decisions of the academy must be at 
once submitted to the inventor. If the inventor has not 
within thirty days protested against the decisions, they are 
valid. Decisions not approved by the inventor are referred 
back to the academy, and are valid if carried by a two-thirds 

The bishop held out for his right of absolute veto, as his 
episcopal fellows and their colleagues are doing " in another 
place " in England. The conflict presents some analogy with 
other graver constitutional matters, involving discussion of the 
respective merits of absolute and suspensive veto, and may there- 
fore have some interest at present, apart from its great 
importance in any scheme for an international language. 

The upshot was that dissensions broke out within the academy. 
The director, unable to .carry a complete scheme of reformed 
grammar, resigned (1891), and the academy, whose business it was 
to arrange the next congress and keep the movement going, never 
convened a fourth congress. Several academicians set to work 
on new artificial languages of their own ; and what was left of 


the Academy of Volapiik, under a new director, M. Rosenberger, 
a St. Petersburg railway engineer, elected 1893, subsequently 
turned its attention to working out a new language, to which 
was given the name Idiom Neutral (see next chapter). 

It is interesting to note that, when Volapiik was nearing its 
high-water mark, the American Philosophical Society appointed 
a committee (October 1887) to inquire into its scientific value. 

This committee reported in November 1887. The report states 
that the creation of an international language is in conformity with 
the general tendency of modern civilization, and is not merely 
desirable, but " will certainly be realized." It goes on to reject 
Volapiik as the solution of the problem, as being on the whole 
retrogade in tendency. It is too arbitrary in construction, and 
not international enough in vocabulary ; nor does it correspond 
to the general trend of development of language, which is away 
from a synthetic grammar (inflection by means of terminations, 
as in Latin and Greek) and towards an analytic one (inflection by 
termination replaced by prepositions and auxiliaries). 

But the committee was so fully convinced of the importance of 
an international language, that it proposed to the Philosophical 
Society that it should invite all the learned societies of the 
world to co-operate in the production of a universal language. 
A resolution embodying this recommendation was adopted by 
the society, and the invitations were sent out. About twenty 
societies accepted among them the University of Edinburgh. 
The Scots again ! 

The London Philological Society commissioned Mr. Ellis to 
investigate the subject, and upon his report declined to co-operate. 
Mr. Ellis was a believer in Volapiik, and furthermore did not 
agree with the American Philosophical Society's conclusion that 
an international language ought to be founded on an Indo- 
Germanic (Aryan) basis. In this Mr. Ellis was almost certainly 
wrong, as subsequent experience is tending to show. The 
Japanese, among others, are taking up Esperanto with enthusiasm, 



find it easy, and make no difficulty about its Aryan basis. But, 
apart from linguistic considerations, Mr. Ellis's practical reasoning 
was certainly sound. It was to this effect : The main thing is to 
adopt a language that is already in wide use and shown to be 
adequate. Alterations bring dissension ; by sticking to what we 
have already got, imperfections and all, strife is avoided, and the 
thing is at once reduced to practice. 

This was a wise counsel, and applies to-day with double force 
to the present holder of the field, Esperanto, which is besides, in 
the opinion of experts, a better language than Volapiik, and far 
easier to acquire. 

However, on the question of technical merits, the American 
Philosophical Society was probably right, as against the London 
Philological Society represented by Mr. Ellis. And the proof 
is that Volapiik died primarily, indeed, of dissensions among 
its partisans, but of dissensions superinduced on inherent defects 
of principle. That this is true may be seen from the subsequent 
history of the Volapiik movement. This is briefly narrated in the 
next chapter, under the name of Idiom Neutral. 


WE saw above that M. Kerckhoffs was succeeded in the director- 
ship of the Volapiik Academy, 1893, by M. Rosenberger, of 
St. Petersburg. During his term of office the academy continued 
its work of amending and improving the language. The method 
of procedure was as follows : The director elaborated proposals, 
which he embodied in circulars and sent round from time to time 
to his fellow-academicians. They voted " Yes " or " No," so that 
the language, when finished, was approved by them all, and was 
the joint product of the academy ; but it was, in its new form, to 
a great extent, the work of the director. At the end of his term 


of office it was practically complete. It had undergone a complete 
transformation, and was now called Idiom Neutral. 

In 1898 M. Rosenberger was succeeded by Rev. A. F. Holmes, 
of Macedon, New York State. The members of the academy 
vary from time to time, and include (or have included since 1898) 
natives of America, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Ger- 
many, Holland, Italy, and Russia. 

Dictionaries of Idiom Neutral have been published in English 
(in America), German, and Dutch ; but the language hardly seems 
to be in use except among the members of the academy. These 
do not meet, but carry on their business by means of circulars, 
drawn up, of course, in Neutral. There are at present only four 
groups of Neutralists those of St. Petersburg, Nuremberg, 
Brussels, and San Antonio, Texas. The famous linguistic club 
of Nuremberg is remarkable for having gone through the evolution 
from Volapiik to Idiom Neutral vid Esperanto ! Besides these 
four groups, there are isolated Neutralists in certain towns in 
Great Britain. The academy seems still to have some points to 
settle, and the work of propaganda has hardly yet begun. 

A paper published in Brussels, under the name of Idei Inter- 
national, seems to represent the ideas of scattered Neutralists, 
and of some partisans of other schemes based on Romance 
vocabulary. These languages resemble each other greatly, and 
some sanguine spirits dream that they may be fused together into 
the ultimate international language. A few even hope for an 
amalgamation with Esperanto, through the medium of a reformed 
type of Esperanto, which approximates more nearly to these 
newer schemes, its vocabulary being, like theirs, almost entirely 
Romance. A series of modifications was published tentatively 
by Dr. Zamenhof himself in 1894, but was suppressed from 
practical considerations, having regard to the fate that overtook 
Volapiik, when once it fell into the hands of reformers. The 
so-called reforms never represented the real ideas of Zamenhof, 
and were rather in the nature of reluctant concessions to the 
weaker brethren. They were never introduced. 


The reader may be interested to compare for himself specimens 
of Volapiik, Idiom Neutral (its lineal descendant), and Esperanto. 
This Esperanto is the only one in use, most Esperantists having 
never even heard of the reform project, which was at once 
dropped, before the language had entered upon its present 
cosmopolitan extension. The following versions of the Lord's 
Prayer are taken from MM. Couturat and Leau's History, as are 
the facts in the above narratives, with the exception of the latest 
details : 


O Fat obas, kel binol in siils, paisaludomoz nem ola ! Komo- 
mod monargan ola ! Jenomoz vil olik, as in siil, i su tal ! Bodi 
obsik vadeliki givolos obes adelo ! E pardolos obes debis 
obsik, as id obs aipardobs debeles obas. E no obis nindukolos 
in tentadi ; sod aidalivolos obis de bad. Jenosod ! 


Nostr patr kel es in sieli ! Ke votr nom es sanktifiked ; ke 
votr regnia veni ; ke votr volu es fasied, kuale in siel, tale et su 
ter. Dona sidiurne a noi nostr pan omnidiurnik ; e pardona (a) 
noi nostr debiti, kuale et noi pardon a nostr debtatori ; e no 
induka noi in tentasion, ma librifika noi da it mal. 


Patro nia, kiu estas en la cielo, sankta estu via nomo ; venu 
regeco via ; estu volo via, kiel en la cielo, tiel ankau sur la tero. 
Panon nian ciutagan donu al ni hodiau ; kaj pardonu al ni suldojn 
niajn, kiel ni- ankau pardonas al niaj suldantoj ; kaj ne konduku 
nin en tenton, sed liberigu nin de la malbono. 

* There are two forms of Idiom Neutral, one called " pure," authorized by 
the academy ; the other used in the paper Idei International. 


Comparing Volapiik with Idiom Neutral, even this brief speci- 
men is enough to show the main line of improvement. The 
framers of the latter had realized the fact that the vocabulary is 
the first and paramount consideration for an artificial language. 
It is hopeless to expect people to learn strings of words of 
arbitrary formation and like nothing they ever saw. Accordingly 
Idiom Neutral borrows its vocabulary from natural speech, and 
thereby abandons a regularity which may be theoretically more 
perfect, but which by arbitrary disfigurement of familiar words 
overreaches itself, and does more harm than good. 

It is very instructive to note that a body of international 
language specialists were brought little by little to adopt an almost 
exclusively Romance vocabulary, and this in spite of the fact that 
they started from Volapuk, whose vocabulary is constructed on 
quite other lines. In other points their language suffers from 
being too exclusively inspired by Volapiikist principles, so that 
their recognition of the necessity of an a posteriori vocabulary 
is the more convincing. 

Given, then, that vocabulary is to be borrowed and not created 
anew, it is obvious that the principle of borrowing must be 
maximum of internationality of roots i.e. those words will be 
adopted by preference which are already common to the greatest 
number of chief languages. Now, by far the greater number of 
such international words (which are far more numerous than was 
thought before a special study was made of the subject) are 
Romance, being of Latin origin. This i& the justification of the 
prevalence of the Romance element in any modern artificial 
language. It has been frequently made a reproach against 
Esperanto that it is a Romance language ; but the unanimous 
verdict of the competent linguists who composed the academy for 
the emendation of Volapuk may be taken as final. They threshed 
the question out once for all, and their conclusion derives added 
force from the fact that it is the result of conversion. 

But it may be doubted whether they have not gone rather far 
in this direction and overshot the mark. 


Comparing Idiom Neutral with Esperanto, it will be found that 
the latter admits a larger proportion of non-Romance words. 
While fully recognizing and doing justice to the accepted principle 
of selection, maximum of internationality, Esperanto sometimes 
gives the preference to a non-Romance word in order to avoid 
ambiguity and secure a perfectly distinct root from which to form 
derivatives incapable of confusion with others.* There is always 
a good reason for the choice ; but it is easier to appreciate this 
after learning the language. 

But a mere comparison of the brief texts given above will bring 
out another point in favour of Esperanto its full vocalic endings. 
On the other hand, many words in Idiom Neutral present a 
mutilated appearance to the eye, and, what is a much greater sin 
in an international language, offer grave difficulties of pronuncia- 
tion to speakers of many nations. Words ending with a double 
consonant are very frequent, e.g. nostr pair ; and these will be 
unpronounceable for many nations, e.g. for an Italian or a Japanese. 
Euphony is one of the strongest of the many strong points of 
Esperanto. In it the principle of maximum of internationality 
has been applied to sounds as well as forms, and there are very 
few sounds that will be a stumbling-block to any considerable 
number of speakers. Some of its modern rivals seem to forget 
that a language is to be spoken as well as written. When a 
language is unfamiliar to the listener, he is greatly aided in 
understanding it if the vowel-sounds are long and full and the 
pronunciation slow, almost drawling. Esperanto fulfils these 
requisites in a marked degree. It is far easier to dwell upon 
two-syllabled words with full vocalic endings like patro nia than 
upon awkward words like nostr pair. 

Yet another advantage of Esperanto is illustrated in the same 
texts. Owing to its system of inflexion and the possession of an 

* It is obvious, too, that English, Germans, and Slavs will be more 
attracted to a language which borrows some of its features from their own 
tongues, than to an entirely Romance language. This relatively wider 
international appeal is another advantage of Esperanto. 


objective case, it is extremely flexible, and can put the words in 
j.lmost any order, without obscuring the sense. Thus, in the 
translation of the Pater Noster, the Esperanto text follows the 
Latin word for word and in the same order. It is obvious that 
this flexibility confers great advantages for purposes of faithful 
and spirited translation. 



A PERUSAL of the list of schemes proposed (pp. 76-87) shows 
that the last few years have produced quite a crop of artificial 
languages. Now that the main principles necessary to success 
are coming to be recognized, the points of difference between 
the rival schemes are narrowing down, and, as mentioned in 
the last chapter, there is a family likeness between many of the 
newer projects. The chief of these are : Idiom Neutral ; Pan- 
Roman or Universal, by Dr. Molenaar; Latino sine flexione, 
by Prof. Peano ; Mundolingue ; Nuove- Roman ; and Lingua 

These have been grouped together by certain adversaries as 
" Neo- Roman " ; but their partisans seem to prefer the collective 
term "Neo-Latin." There are more or less vague hopes that 
out of them may be evolved a final form of international 
language, for which the names Pan-European and Union-Ling 
have been suggested. Dr. Molenaar has declared his willingness 
to keep to his original title, Pan-Roman, for his own language, 
if the composite one should prefer to be called Universal. 
Prof. Peano says, in the course of an article (written in his own 
language, of course), " any fresh solution in the future can only 
differ from Idiom Neutral, as two medical or mathematical 
treatises dealing with the same subject." 

The only definite scheme for common action put forth up to 


now seems to be that proposed by Dr. Molenaar. In January 
1907 he sent round a circular written in French, in which he 
makes the following propositions : 

All authors and notable partisans of Neo-Latin universal 
languages shall meet in a special academy, which will elaborate 
a compromise-language. 

As regards the programme, the three fundamental principles 
shall be : 

1. Internationally and comprehensibility. 

2. Simplicity and regularity. 

3. Homogeneity and euphony. 

Of these principles, No. i is to take precedence of No. 2, and 
No. 2 of No. 3. 
The order of discussion is to be : 


(a) Alphabet. 

(If) Articles (necessary or not ?). 

(r) Declension. 

(d) Plural (-s or -/?). 

(e) Adjective (invariable or not ?). 
(/) Adverb, etc. 


The number of collaborators is to be limited to about twenty, 
and the chairman is to be a non-partisan. 

Such, in outline, is the proposal of Dr. Molenaar. An obvious 
criticism is that it falls back into the old mistake of putting 
grammar before vocabulary. 

From a practical point of view such a composite scheme is not 
likely to meet with acceptance. It will be very hard for authors 
of languages to be impartial and sacrifice their favourite devices 


to the common opinion. M. Bollack, author of the Langue 
bleue, has already refused the chairmanship. He does not see 
the use of founding a fresh academy, and thinks Dr. Molenaar 
would do better to join forces with the Neutralists. 

There exists indeed already an " Akademi International de 
Lingu Universal," which has produced Idiom Neutral, and of 
which Mr. Holmes is still director, now in his second term (see 
preceding chapter). This academy is said to be too one-sided 
in its composition, and not scientific. But it is hard to see how 
it will abdicate in favour of a new one. 

Meantime, the victorious Esperantists, at present in possession 
of the field, poke fun at these new-fangled schemes. A parody 
in Esperanto verse, entitled Lingvo de Molenaar, and sung to 
the tune of the American song Riding down from Bangor^ 
narrates the fickleness of Pan-Roman and how it changed into 
Universal. It is said that a group of Continental Esperantists, 
at a convivial sitting, burnt the apostate Idiom Neutral in effigy 
by making a bonfire of Neutral literature. On the other side 
amenities are not wanting. It is now the fashion to sling mud 
at a rival language by calling it " arbitrary " and " fantastic " ; 
and these epithets are freely applied to Esperanto. Strong in 
their cause, the Esperantists are peacefully preparing the Congress 
of Cambridge. 



HAPPY is the nation that has no history, still happier the inter- 
national language ; for a policy of " pacific penetration " offers 
few picturesque incidents to furnish forth a readable narrative. 
In the case of Esperanto there have been no splits or factions ; 
no narrow ring of oligarchs has cornered the language for its own 
purposes, or insisted upon its aristocratic and non-popular side in 
the supposed interests of culture or literary taste ; consequently 


there has been no secession of the plebs. In the early days of 
Esperanto there was indeed an attempt to found an Esperanto 
league; but when it was seen that the league did little beyond 
suggest alterations, it was wisely dissolved in 1894. Since then 
Esperanto has been run purely on its merits as a language, and 
has expressly dissociated itself from any political, pacifist, or other 
propaganda. Its story is one of quiet progress at first very 
slow, but within the last five years wonderfully rapid, and still 
accelerating. The most sensational episode in this peaceful 
advance was the prohibition of the principal Esperantist organ by 
the Russian censorship, so that there is little to do, save record 
one or two leading facts and dates. 

The inventor of Esperanto is a Polish doctor, Ludwig Lazarus 
Zamenhof, now living in Warsaw. He was born in 1859 at 
Bielostock, a town which has lately become notorious as the scene 
of one of the terrible Russian pogroms, or interracial butcheries. 
This tragedy was only the culmination of a chronic state of 
misunderstanding, which long ago so impressed thfr young 
Zamenhof that, when still quite a boy, he resolved to labour for 
the removal of one cause of it by facilitating mutual intercourse. 
He has practically devoted his life first to the elaboration of his 
language, and of later years to the vast amount of business that 
its extension involves. And it has been a labour of love. 
Zamenhof is an idealist. His action, in all that concerns Esper- 
anto, has been characterized throughout by a generosity and self- 
effacement that well correspond to the humanitarian nature of the 
inspiration that produced it. He has renounced all personal 
rights in and control of the Esperanto language, and kept 
studiously in the background till the first International Congress 
two years ago forced him into the open, when he emerged from 
his retirement to take his rightful place before the eyes of the 
peoples whom his invention had brought together. 

But he is not merely an idealist : he is a practical idealist. 
This is shown by his self-restraint and practical wisdom in guiding 
events. One of the symptoms of "catching Esperanto" is a 


desire to introduce improvements. This morbid propensity to 
jejune amateur tinkering, a kind of measles of the mind (inorbus 
linguificus*} attacks the immature in years or judgment. A riper 
acquaintance with the history and practical aims of international 
language purges it from the system. We have all been through 
it. For the inventor of Esperanto, accustomed for so many years 
to retouch, modify, and revise, it must require no ordinary degree 
of self-control to keep his hands off, and leave the fate of his 
offspring to others. It grew with his growth, developing with his 
experience, and he best knows where the shoe pinches and what 
might yet be done. But he has the fate of Volapiik before his 
eyes. He knows that, having wrought speech for the people, 
he must leave it to the people, if he wishes them to use and keep 
using it. 

Contrast the uncompromising attitude of the inventor of 
Volapiik, Bishop Schleyer. It will be remembered how he let 
Volapiik run upon the rocks rather than relinquish the helm. 
He has been nicknamed " the Volapukist Pope " and indeed he 
made the great and fatal bull of believing in his own infallibility. 
Zamenhof has never pretended to this. When he first published 
his language, he made no claim to finality on its behalf. He 
called for criticisms, and contemplated completing and modifying 
his scheme in accordance with them. He even offered to make 
over this task to a duly constituted academy, if people would 
come forward and throw themselves into the work. Again, some 
years later, in a pamphlet, Choix d'une langue Internationale, he 
proposed a scheme for obtaining a competent impartial verdict, 
and declared his willingness to submit to it. At one time he 
thought of something in the nature of a plebiscite. Later, his 
renunciation of the last vestige of control, in giving up the aprobo, 
or official sanction of books ; his attitude at the international 
congresses ; his refusal to accept the presidency ; his reluctance 

* An expressive (homoeopathic) name for this malady may be coined in 
Esperanto : malsano lingvotrudema = officious or intrusive disease, con- 
sisting in an itch for coining language. 


to name or influence the selection of the members of the body 
charged with the control of the language ; his declaration that his 
own works have no legislative power, but are merely those of an 
Esperantist ; finally, his sane conception of the scope and method 
of future development of the language to meet new needs, and of 
the limits within which it is possible, all this bespeaks the man 
who has a clear idea of what he is aiming at, and a shrewd grasp 
of the conditions necessary to ensure success. 

The word Esperanto is the present participle of the verb 
esperi " to hope," used substantially. It was under the 
pseudonym of Dr. Esperanto that Zamenhof published his scheme 
in 1887 at Warsaw, and the name has stuck to the language. 
Before publication it had been cast and recast many times in the 
mind of its author, and it is curious to note that in the course of 
its evolution he had himself been through the principal stages 
exhibited in the history of artificial language projects for the last 
three hundred years. That is to say, he began with the idea of 
an a priori language with made-up words and arbitrary grammar, 
and gradually advanced to the conception of an a posteriori 
language, borrowing its vocabulary from the roots common to 
several existing languages and presenting in its grammar a 
simplification of Indo-European grammar. 

He began to learn English at a comparatively advanced stage 
of his education, and the simplicity of its grammar and syntax 
was a revelation to him. It had a powerful influence in helping 
him to frame his grammar, which underwent a new transformation. 
Specimens of the language as Zamenhof used to speak it with his 
school and student friends show a wide divergence from its 
present form. He seems to have had cruel disappointments, and 
was disillusioned by the falling away of youthful comrades who 
had promised to fight the battles of the language they practised 
with enthusiasm at school. During long years of depression 
work at the language seems to have been almost his one resource. 
Its absolute simplicity is deceptive as to the immense labour it 


must have cost a single man to work it out. This is only fully 
to be appreciated by one who has some knowledge of former 
attempts. Zamenhof himself admits that, if he had known earlier 
of the existence of Volapuk, he would never have had the courage 
to continue his task, though he was conscious of the superiority 
of his own solution. When, after long hesitation, he made up his 
mind to try his luck and give his language to the world, 
Volapuk was strong, but already involved in internal strife. 

Zamenhofs book appeared first in Russian, and the same year 
(1887) French and German editions appeared at Warsaw. The 
first instruction book in English appeared in the following year. 
The only name on the title-page is " St. J.," and it passed quite 

Progress was at first very slow. The firs); flgpejantn 
was founded in St. Petersburg, 1892, under the name of La Espero. 
"As early as 1889 the pioneer Esperanto newspaper, La Esperan- 
fisio* conducted chiefly by Russians and circulated mainly in 
Russia, began to appear in Nuremberg, where there was already a 
distinguished Volapuk club, afterwards converted to Esperanto. 
Since then Nuremberg has continued to be a centre of light in 
the movement for an international language. The other pioneer 
newspapers were L' Esptrantiste, founded in 1898 at Epernay by 
the Marquis de Beaufront, and La Lttmo of Montreal. 

In Germany in the early days of Esperanto the great apostles 
were Einstein and Trompeter, and it was owing to the liberality 
of the latter that the Nuremberg venture was rendered possible. 

Somewhat later began in France the activity of the greatest and 
most fervent of all the apostles of Esperanto, the Marquis de 
Beaufront. By an extraordinary coincidence he had ready for the 
press a grammar and complete dictionary of a language of his own, 
named Adjuvanto. When he became acquainted with Esperanto, 
he recognized that it was in certain points superior to his own 

* Afterwards prohibited in Russia, owing to the collaboration of Count 
Tolstoi, and transferred to Upsala under the name Lingvo Internacia. 
Since 1902 it has been published in Paris. 


language, though the two were remarkably similar. He sup- 
pressed his own scheme altogether, and threw himself heart 
and soul into the work of spreading Esperanto. In a series of 
grammars, commentaries, and dictionaries he expounded the 
language and made it accessible to numbers who, without his 
energy and zeal, would never have been interested in it. Among 
other well-known French leaders are General Sebert, of the French 
Institute, M. Boirac, Rector of the Dijon University, and M. Gaston 
Moch, editor of the Independence Beige. 

In England the pioneer was Mr. Joseph Rhodes, who, with 
Mr. Ellis, founded the first .English group at Keighley in November 
1902.* Just a year later appeared the first English Esperanto 
journal, The Esperantist, edited by Mr. H. Bolingbroke Mudie, 
London. Since 1905 it has been incorporated with The British 
Esperantist, the official organ of the British Esperanto Association. 
The association was founded in October 1904. 

The first international congress was held at Boulogne in 
August 1905. It was organized almost entirely by the presi- 
dent of the local group, M. Michaux, a leading barrister and 
brilliant lecturer and propagandist. It was an immense success, 
and inaugurated a series of annual congresses, which are doing 
great work in disseminating the idea of international language. 
The second was held in Geneva, August 1906 ; and the third 
will be held at Cambridge, August 10-17, I 97- I* IS unneces- 
sary to describe the congresses here, as an account has been 
given in an early chapter (see pp. 9-12 and 14-15). 

Within the last three or four years Esperanto has spread all 
over the world, and fresh societies and newspapers are springing 
up on every side. Since the convincing demonstration afforded 
by the Geneva Congress, Switzerland is beginning to take the 
movement seriously. Many classes and lectures have been held, 
and the university is also now lending its aid. In the present 

* The foundation of the London Esperanto Club took place at practically 
the same time, and the club became the headquarters of the movement in 
Great Britain. 


year (1907) an International Esperantist Scientific Office has been 
founded in Geneva, with M. Rene" de Saussure as director, and 
amongst the members of the auxiliary committee are seventeen 
professors and eight privat-docents (lecturers) of the Geneva 

Its object is to secure the recognition of Esperanto for scientific 
purposes, and to practically facilitate its use. To this end the 
office carries on the work of collecting technical vocabularies 
of Esperanto, with the aid of all scientists whose assistance it 
may receive. This is perhaps the most practical step yet taken 
towards the standardization of technical terms, which is so badly 
needed in all branches of science. A universal language offers 
the best solution of the vexed question, because it starts with a 
clean sheet. Once a term has been admitted, by the competent 
committee for a particular branch of science, into the technical 
Esperanto vocabulary of that science, it becomes universal, because 
it has no pre-existent rivals ; and its universal recognition in the 
auxiliary language will react upon writers' usage in their own 

The Geneva office will also aid in editing scientific Esperantist 
reviews ; and the chief existing one, the Internacia Scienca Revuo, 
will henceforth be published in Geneva instead of in Paris, as 

The two principal objects of the Esperantist Scientific 
Association are : 

1. Scientists should always use Esperanto during their inter- 
national congresses. 

2. Scientific periodicals should accept articles written in 
Esperanto (as they now do in the case of English, French, 
German, and Italian), and should publish in Esperanto a brief 
summary of every article written in a national language. 

A few weeks after the Geneva Congress there was a controversy 
on the subject of Esperanto between two of the best known and 
most widely read Swiss and French newspapers the Paris Figaro 
and the Journal de Geneve. The respective champions were 


the Comte d'Haussonville, of the Academic Frangaise, and 
M. de Saussure, a member of a highly distinguished Swiss 
scientific family ; and the matter caused a good deal of interest 
on the Continent. France was, in this case, reactionary and 
ancien regime : the smaller Republic backed Esperanto and 
progress. M. de Saussure brought forward facts, and the count 
served up the old arguments about Esperanto being unpatriotic 
and the prejudice it would inflict upon literature. The whole 
thing was a good illustration of a fact that is already becoming 
prominent in the history of the auxiliary language movement 
the scientists are much more favourable than the literary men. 
As regards educational reform, the conservative attitude of the 
classicists is well known, though there are many exceptions, 
especially among real teachers. But it is somewhat remarkable 
that, when the proposed reform deals with language, those whose 
business it is to know about languages should not take the trouble 
to examine the scheme properly, before giving an opinion one 
way or the other. 

As this question of the attitude of literary men has, and will 
have, a vital bearing upon the prospects of international language, 
and consequently upon its history, this is perhaps the place 
to remove a misunderstanding. A distinguished literary man 
objected to the foregoing passage as a stricture upon men of 
letters. His point was : " Of course literary men care less for 
Esperanto than scientific men do : it must be so, because they 
need it less." Now this is quite true : there is little doubt that 
to-day science is, perhaps inevitably, more cosmopolitan than 
letters, whatever people may say about " the world-wide republic 
of letters." But it does not meet the point. Esperantists do not 
complain because men of letters are not interested in Esperanto. 
They have their own interests and occupations, and nobody would 
be so absurd as to make it a grievance that they will not submit 
to have thrust upon them a language for which they have no taste 
or use. What Esperantists do very strongly object to is that 
some literary men lend the weight of their name and position to 


irresponsible criticism. Let them take or leave Esperanto as 
seems good to them. Their responsible opinions, based upon due 
study of the question, are always eagerly welcomed. But do not let 
them misrepresent Esperanto to the public, thereby unfairly pre- 
judicing its judgment. Such action is unworthy of serious men. 
When a man puts forward criticisms of Esperanto based upon 
elementary errors of fact, or complains that Esperantists will 
not listen to reason because they ignore proposals for change, 
which have long ago been threshed out and found wanting, or 
are obviously unpractical, he is merely showing that he has not 
studied the question. A fair analogy would be the case of a 
chemist or engineer who had recently begun to dabble in Greek 
in his spare moments, and who should undertake to emend 
the text of Sophocles. His suggestions would show that he 
knew no Greek, that he had never heard of Sir Richard Jebb, 
and that he was ignorant of all the results of scientific textual 
criticism. But here comes in the difference. Such a critic 
would be laughed out of court, and told to mind his own 
business, or else learn Greek before he undertook to emend 
it. But as international language is a novelty to most people, it 
is thought that any one can make, mend, or criticise it. It is not, 
like Greek, yet recognized as a serious subject, and therefore 
irresponsible criticism is too apt to be taken at its face value, 
merely on the ipse dixit of the critic, especially if he happens to 
be an influential man in some other line. Nobody bothers about 
his qualifications in international language ; nobody either knows 
or cares whether he has any claim to be heard on the subject 
at all. 

The fact is that international language now has a consider- 
able history behind it. A large amount of experience has been 
amassed, and is now available for any one who is willing and 
competent to go into the question. But, in order to do fruitful 
work in this field, it is just as necessary as in any other to be 
properly equipped, and to know where others have left off, before 
you begin. 



At the first international congress at Boulogne the history 
of Esperanto was well summed up in a thoughtful speech by 
Dr. Bein, of Poland, himself a considerable Esperantist author, 
using the nom de guerre " Kabe." He pointed out that we are 
still in the first or propaganda stage of international language, in 
which it is necessary to hold congresses, and the language is 
treated as an end in itself. There is good hope that the second 
stage may soon be reached, in which the language may be 
sufficiently recognized to take its proper place as a means. 

Meantime, the first stage of Esperanto has been marked by 
three phases or periods the Russian period, the French period, 
and the international period. Each has left its mark upon the 

The Russian period is associated with the names of Kofman, 
Grabowski, Silesnjov, Gernet, Zinovjev, and many other writers 
of considerable literary power. Being the pioneers, they had to 
prove the capabilities of the language to the world, and in doing 
so they took off some of the rough of the world's indifference and 
scepticism. The language benefited by the fact that the first 
authors were Slavs. The simplicity of the Slav syntax, the logical 
arrangement of the sentences, the perfectly free and natural order 
of the words, passed unconsciously from their native language to 
the new one in the hands of these writers, and have been imitated 
by their successors. 

The French period is associated chiefly with the name of 
M. de Beaufront. In Russia, side by side with the good points 
named above, certain less desirable Slavisms were creeping in ; 
also there were hitherto no scientific dictionaries or explanation 
of syntax. As Dr. Bein says, de Beaufront may be called "the 
codifier of Esperanto." A goodly band of French writers now 
took the language in hand, and by their natural power of 
expression and exposition, which seems inborn in a French- 
man, and by their national passion for lucidity, they have no 
doubt strengthened the impulse of Esperanto towards clear-cut, 
vigorous style. 


Possibly theorizing has been overdone in France ; for, after all, 
the strong point of Esperanto syntax is that there is none to speak 
of, common sense being the guide. It is a pity to set up rules 
where none are necessary, or to do anything that can produce an 
impression in the minds of the uninitiated that learning Esperanto 
means anything approaching the memory drudgery necessary in 
grasping the rules and constructions of national languages. 

The third period began soon after the turn of the century, 
and is still in full force. Take up any chance number of any 
Esperanto gazette out of the numbers that are published all over 
the world; you will hardly be able to draw any conclusion as 
to the nationality of the writer of the article you light upon, save 
perhaps for an occasional turn of an unpractised hand. Esperanto 
now has its style ; it is lucidity based upon common sense and the 
rudiments of a minimized grammar. 

This chapter would not be complete without some account of 
the constitution of Esperanto, and the means which have been 
adopted to safeguard the purity of the language. It will be well 
to quote in full the Declaration adopted at Boulogne, in which 
its aim is set forth, and which forms, as it were, its written 
constitution. For the convenience of readers the Esperanto text 
and English translation are printed in parallel columns. 


Car pri la esenco de Esperan- Because many have a very 
tismo multaj havas tre malveran false idea of the nature of 
ideon, tial ni subskribintoj, Esperanto, therefore we, the 
reprezentantoj de la Esperan- undersigned, representing the 
tismo en diversaj landoj de la cause of Esperanto in different 
mondo, kunvenintaj al la In- countries of the world, having 
ternacia Kongreso Esperantista met together at the Inter- 
en Boulogne - sur - Mer, trovis national Esperanto Congress in 
necesa, laii la propono de la Boulogne-sur-Mer, have thought 


autoro de la lingvo Esperanto, 
doni la sekvantan klarigon : 

i. La Esperantismo estas 
penado disvastigi en la tuta 
mondo la uzadon de lingvo 
neiitrale homa, kiu, "ne entru- 
dante sin en la internan vivon 
de la popoloj kaj neniom celante 
elpusi la ekzistantajn lingvojn 
naciajn," donus al la homoj 
de malsamaj nacioj la eblon 
komprenigadi inter si, kiu povus 
servi kiel paciga lingvo de 
publikaj institucioj en tiuj landoj 
kie diversaj nacioj batalas inter 
si pri la lingvo, kaj en kiu povus 
esti publikigataj tiuj verkoj kiuj 
havas egalan intereson por ciuj 

Ciu alia ideo au espero kiun 
tiu ati alia Esperantisto ligas 
kun la Esperantismo estos lia 
afero pure privata, por kiu la 
Esperantismo ne respondas. 

2. Car en la nuna tempo 
neniu esploranto en la tuta 
mondo jam dubas pri tio, ke 
lingvo internacia povas esti nur 
lingvo arta, kaj car, el ciuj mult- 

it necessary, at the suggestion 
of the author of the Esperanto 
language, to give the following 
explanation : 

1. Esperanto in its essence 
is an attempt to diffuse over 
the whole world a language 
belonging to mankind without 
distinction, which, "not intrud- 
ing upon the internal life of 
the peoples and in nowise 
aiming to drive out the existing 
national languages," should give 
to men of different nations the 
possibility of becoming mutually 
comprehensible, which might 
serve as a peace-making lan- 
guage for public institutions in 
those lands where different 
nations are involved in strife 
about their language, and in 
which might be published those 
works which possess an equal 
interest for all peoples. 

Any other idea or hope which 
this or that Esperantist asso- 
ciates with Esperanto will be 
his purely personal business, 
for which Esperanto is not 

2. Because at the present 
time no one who looks out over 
the whole world any longer 
doubts that an international 
language can only be an artificial 


egaj provoj faritaj en la dauro 
de la lastaj du centjaroj, ciuj 
prezentas nur teorajn projek- 
tojn, kaj lingvo efektive finita, 
ciuflanke elprovita, perfekte 
vivipova, kaj en ciuj rilatoj pleje 
tauga montrigis nur unu sola 
lingvo, Esperanto, tial la amikoj 
de la ideo de lingvo internacia, 
konsciante ke teoria disputado 
kondukos al nenio kaj ke la 
celo povas esti atingita nur per 
laborado praktika, jam de longe 
ciuj grupigis cirkau la sola 
lingvo, Esperanto, kaj laboras 
por gia disvastigado kaj ricigado 
de gia literaturo. 

3. Car la autoro de la lingvo 
Esperanto tuj en la komenco 
rifuzis, unu fojon por ciam, ciujn 
personajn rajtojn kaj privilegiojn 
rilate tiun lingvon, tial Esper- 
anto estas "nenies proprajo," 
nek en rilato materiala, nek en 
rilato morala. 

Materiala mastro de tiu i 
lingvo estas la tuta mondo, kaj 
fciu deziranto povas eldonadi 
en au pri tiu ci lingvo ciajn 
verkojn kiajn li deziras, kaj 

one, and because, of all the very 
numerous attempts made in the 
course of the last two hundred 
years, all offer merely theoretical 
solutions, and only one single 
language, Esperanto, has shown 
itself to be in practice com- 
plete, fully tested on every side, 
perfectly capable of living use, 
and in every respect completely 
adequate, therefore the friends 
of the idea of international 
language, recognizing that theo- 
retical discussion will lead to 
nothing and that the end can 
only be attained by practical 
and continuous effort, have long 
grouped themselves around one 
single language, Esperanto, and 
are labouring to disseminate it 
and to enrich its literature. 

3. Because the author of the 
Esperanto language from the 
very beginning refused, once 
for all, all personal rights and 
privileges connected with that 
language, therefore Esperanto 
is "the property of no one," 
either from a material or moral 
point of view. 

Materially speaking, the whole 
world is master of this language, 
and any one who wishes can 
publish in or about this language 
works of any kind he wishes, 



uzadi la lingvon por ciaj eblaj 
celoj ; kiel spiritaj mastroj de 
tiu ci lingvo estos ciam rigar- 
dataj tiuj personoj kiuj de la 
mondo Esperantista estos kon- 
fesataj kiel la plej bonaj kaj 
la plej talentaj verkistoj de tiu 
ci lingvo. 

4. Esperanto havas neniun 
personan legdonanton kaj de- 
pendas de neniu aparta homo. 
Ciuj opinioj kaj verkoj de la 
kreinto de Esperanto havas, 
simile al la opinioj kaj verkoj 
de ciu alia Esperantisto, karak- 
teron absolute privatan kaj por 
neniu devigan. La sola, unu 
fojon por ciam deviga por ciuj 
Esperantistoj, fundamento de 
la lingvo Esperanto estas la 
verketo Fundamento de Esper- 
anto, en kiu neniu havas la 
raj ton fari sangon. Se iu de- 
klinigas de la reguloj kaj mo- 
deloj donitaj en la dirita verko, 
li neniam povas pravigi sin 
per la vortoj "tie! deziras au 
konsilas la autoro de Esper- 
anto." Ciun ideon, kiu ne 
povas esti oportune esprimata 
per tiu materialo kiu trovigas 
en la Fundamento de Esperanto, 
Ciu havas la rajton esprimi en 
tia maniero kiun li trovas la 

and go on using the language 
for any possible object ; from 
an intellectual point of view 
those persons will always be 
regarded as masters of this 
language who shall be recog- 
nized by the Esperantist world 
as the best and most gifted 
writers in this language. 

4. Esperanto has'no personal 
law-giver and depends upon no 
particular person. All opinions 
and works of the creator of 
Esperanto have, like the- 
opinions and works of any 
other Esperantist, an absolutely 
private character, and are bind- 
ing upon nobody. The sole 
foundation of the Esperanto 
language, which is once for all 
binding upon all Esperantists, 
is the little work Fundamento 
de Esperanto, in which no one 
has the right to make any 
change. If any one departs 
from the rules and models given 
in the said work, he can never 
justify himself with the words 
" such is the wish or advice of 
the author of Esperanto." In 
the case of any idea which can- 
not be conveniently expressed 
by means of that material which 
is contained in the Fundamento 
de Esperanto, every Esperantist 


plej gusta, tiel same kiel estas 
farate en ciu alia lingvo. Sed 
pro plena unueco de la lingvo, 
al ciuj Esperantistoj estas re- 
komendate imitadi kiel eble 
plej multe tiun stilon kiu tro- 
vigas en la verkoj de la kreinto 
de Esperanto, kiu la plej multe 
laboris por kaj en Esperanto, 
kaj la plej bone konas gian 

5. Esperantisto estas nomata 
ciu persono kiu scias kaj uzas 
la lingvon Esperanto, tute egale 
por kiaj celoj li gin uzas. 
Apartenado al ia aktiva societo 
Esperantista por ciu Esperan- 
tisto estas rekomendinda, sed 
ne deviga. 

has the right to express it in 
such manner as he considers 
most fitting, just as is done in 
the case of every other language. 
But for the sake of perfect unity 
in the language, it is recom- 
mended to all Esperantists to 
constantly imitate as far as pos- 
sible that style which is found 
in the works of the creator of 
Esperanto, who laboured the 
most abundantly for and in 
Esperanto, and who is best 
acquainted with the spirit of it. 
5. The name of Esperantist 
is given to every person who 
knows and uses the Esperanto 
language, no matter for what 
ends he uses it. Membership 
of some active Esperanto society 
is to be recommended for every 
Esperantist, but this is not 

By the wise provision of Article 4, that the entire grammar and 
framework of Esperanto, as contained within one small book of a 
few pages, is absolutely unchangeable, the future of the language 
is secured. The Fundamento also contains enough root words to 
express all ordinary ideas. Henceforth the worst thing that can 
happen to Esperanto by way of adulteration is that some authors 
may use too many foreign words. The only practical check upon 
this, of course, is the penalty of becoming incomprehensible. 
But as men are on the whole reasonable, and as the only object 
of writing in Esperanto presumably is to appeal to an Esperantist 
international public, this check should be sufficient to prevent the 


use of any word that usage is not tending to consecrate. A certain 
latitude of expansion must be allowed to every language, to enable 
it to move with the times ; but beyond this, surely few would 
have any interest in foisting into their discourse words which their 
hearers or readers would not be likely to understand, and those 
few would probably belong to the class who do the same thing in 
using their mother-tongue. No special legislation is needed to 
meet their case. 

For a few years (1901-1905) the publishing house of Hachette 
had the monopoly of official Esperanto publications, and no work 
published elsewhere could find place in the " Kolekto Esperanto 
aprobita de D. Zamenhof." But at the first congress Zamenhof 
announced that he had given up even this control, and Esperanto 
is now a free language. 

The official authority, which deals with all matters relating to 
the language itself, is the Lingvo, Komitato (Language Committee). 
It was instituted at the first congress, and consists of persons 
appointed for their special competence in linguistic matters. The 
original members numbered ninety-nine, and represented the 
following twenty-eight countries : Austria, Belgium, Brazil, 
Bulgaria, Canada, Chili, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, 
Great Britain, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, 
Mexico, Norway, Persia, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, 
Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. 

This committee decides upon its own organization and 
procedure. In practice it selects from among the points sub- 
mitted to it by Esperantists those worthy of consideration, and 
propounds them to its members by means of circulars. It then 
appoints a competent person or small committee to report upon 
the answers received. Decisions are made upon the result of the 
voting in the members' replies to the circulars, as analyzed and 
tabulated in the report. The functions of the committee do not 
include the making of any alteration whatever in the Esperanto part 
of the Fundamento de Esperanto, which is equally sacrosanct for it 
and for ajl Esperantists, But there is much to be done in correct- 


ing certain faulty translations of the fundamental Esperanto roots 
into national languages, in defining their exact meaning and giving 
their authorized equivalent in fresh languages, into which they 
were not originally translated. Also the constantly growing 
output of grammars and instruction books of all kinds in every 
country, to say nothing of dictionaries, which are very important, 
has to be carefully watched, in order that errors may be pointed 
out and corrected before they have time to take root. 

Thus the Lingva Komitato is in no sense an academy or 
legislative body, having for object to change or improve the 
language; it is the duly constituted and widely representative 
authority, which watches the spread and development of the 
language, maintaining its purity, and helping with judicious 

From this sketch it ought to be clear that Esperanto is no 
wild-cat scheme of enthusiasts or faddists, but a wisely organized 
attempt to wipe out the world's linguistic arrears. Its aim is to 
bring progress in oral and written communication into line with 
the progress of material means of communication and of science. 



(a) General 

THE first question usually asked is, " How many Esperantists are 
there ? " The answer is, " Nobody knows." The most diverse 
estimates have been made, but none are based on any reliable 
method of computation. In the Histoire de la langue universelle, 
which appeared in 1903 and is written throughout in an impartial 
and scientific spirit, 50,000 was tentatively given as a fairly safe 
estimate. That was before the days of the international congresses, 
and since then the cause has been advancing by leaps and bounds. 
Not a month passes without its crop of new clubs and classes, 
and the pace is becoming fast and furious. 


A marked change has been noticeable of late in the press of the 
leading countries. It is becoming a rare thing now to see 
Esperanto treated as a form of madness, and the days of con- 
temptuous silence are passing away. Esperanto doings are now 
fairly, fully, and accurately 'reported. The tone of criticism is 
sometimes favourable, sometimes patronizing, sometimes hostile ; 
but it is generally serious. It is coming to be recognized that 
Esperanto is a force to be reckoned with ; it cannot be laughed off. 
One or two rivals, indeed, are getting a little noisy. They are 
mostly one-man (not to say one-horse) shows, and they do not like 
to see Esperanto going ahead like steam. High on the mountain- 
side they sit in cold isolation, and gaze over the rich fertile plains 
of Esperanto, rapidly becoming populous as the immigrants rush 
in and stake out their claims in the fair " no-man's land." * And 
it makes them feel bad, these others ! " Jeshurun waxed fat," 
they cry ; " pride goes before a fall, remember Volapiik ! " The 
Esperantists remember Volapiik, close their ranks, and sweep on. 

Another good criterion besides the press is the sale of books. 
Large editions are going off everywhere, especially, it would seem, 
in America, where the folk have a habit, once they have struck a 
business proposition, of running it for all it is worth. " Let her 
go ! give her hell ! " is the word, and " the boys " are just now 
getting next to Esperanto to beat the band. 

The British Esperanto Association's accounts show a very 
steady increase in the sale of literature. Considering that it sells 
books at trade prices, that hardly any of them are priced at more 
than a few pence, and none above a shilling or two, the sums 
realized from sale of books in some months are astonishing, and 
represent a large and increasing spread of interest among the 
public. Owing to the low prices, the profit on books is of course 
not great; but, such as it is, it all goes to help the cause. 
The association is now registered as a non-profit-making society 
under the law of 1867, with no share capital and no dividends. 

As regards official recognition, good progress is being made in 
* ' ' Nenies froprajo? Esp. Deklaracio, Art. 3 (see p. 1 1 7). 


England (see below) ; but if the language is anywhere adopted 
universally in government schools, it will certainly be first in 
France. (For an account of the present state of this question, 
which is at present before the French Permanent Educational 
Commission, see Part I., chap, vi., p. 30). Dr. Zamenhof has 
been decorated by the French Government, and Esperanto is 
already taught in many French schools. For purposes of education 
France is divided into districts, called ressorts d'Acadhnie, within 
each of which there is a complete educational ladder from the 
primary schools to the university which is the culmination of each. 
The official head of an important district is Rector Boirac, head 
of the Dijon University. He is one of the most distinguished of 
the Esperantists, and is the leading spirit at the congresses and 
on the Lingva Komitato. He has done much for Esperanto in 
the schools of his district, and under the guidance of men of his 
calibre Esperanto is making serious progress in France. (For 
lists of university professors favourable to an international language, 
see p. 32). 

In Germany one of the foremost men of science of his time, 
Prof. Ostwald, of Leipzig, is an ardent advocate of the inter- 
national language. He recently was lent for a time to Harvard 
University, U.S.A., and while there gave a great impetus to the 
study of Esperanto. He also spoke in its favour at Aberdeen 
last year, on the occasion of the opening of the new University 

Apropos of the interchange between different countries of 
professors and other teachers, which has to some extent been 
already tried between America and Germany, it is curious to 
note the attitude of Prof. Hermann Diels, Rector of the Berlin 
University. He is a great supporter of the extension of this 
interchange, which also has the approbation of the Kaiser, who 
attended formally the inaugural lecture of one of the American 
professors, to mark his approbation. Prof. Diels commented on 
the fact that diversity of language was a grave obstacle; but 
though he seems before to have been a champion of popularized 


Latin, he now declares himself strongly against any artificial 
language,* and advocates the use of English, French, and German. 
This is a modified form of the old Max Miiller proposal, that all 
serious scientific work should be published in one of six lan- 
guages. It does not seem a very convincing attitude to take up, 
because it ignores the facts: (i) that the actual trend of the 
world is the other way towards inclusion of fresh national 
languages among the Kultursprachen^ not towards accentuation 
of the predominance of these three; (2) that the increase of 
specialization and new studies at universities is leaving less and 
less time for mastering several difficult languages merely as means 
to other branches of study. Why should everybody have to learn 
English, French, and German ? 

For the rest, Esperanto is now beginning to take hold in 
Germany. The Germans have, as a general rule, open minds for 
this kind of problem, and are trained to take objective views in 
linguistic matters on the scientific merits of the case. The 
reason why they have been somewhat backward hitherto in 
the Esperanto movement is no doubt their disappointment at the 
failure of Volapiik, which they had done much to promote. But 
now that, in spite of this special drawback, the first steps have 
been made, and clubs and papers are beginning to spring up 
again, everything points to powerful co-operation from Germany 
in the future. 

In Switzerland progress has been enormous since the Geneva 
Congress of 1906. Many clubs and classes are already formed 
or in process of formation, and university men are supporting 
the movement. In one respect the Swiss are now in the van 
of the Esperantist world : they have just started a newspaper, 
Esperanto^ the prospectus of which declares that it will no longer 
treat the language as an end in itself, or make propaganda; it 
will run on the lines of an ordinary weekly, merely using 

* Herr Diels quaintly finds that Esperanto has only one gender the 
feminine ! Surely an ultra-Shavian obsession of femininity. It is perhaps some 
distinction to out- Shaw Bernard Shaw in any line. 


Esperanto as a means, inasmuch as it is the language of the 

The well-known Swiss veteran philosopher Ernst Naville wrote 
to the Geneva Congress that for thirty years he had regarded the 
introduction of an international language as a necessity, owing 
to the advance of civilization, and the day of realization of this 
object would be one of the greatest dates of history. 

It is impossible to go through all the countries of Europe in 
detail. It is probable that the greatest numbers of Esperantists 
are still to be found among the Slav peoples. The language first 
took root in their midst, and was spread far and wide by a 
distinguished group of Slav writers. 

Outside Europe, Esperanto is making great strides in the 
British Empire, Japan, and America. There are now Esperantist 
clubs in various parts of India, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, 
in Malta, Singapore, etc. Dr. Pollen, C.I.E., President of the 
British Esperanto Association, has just been touring in India, in 
the interests of the language. Among many satisfactory results 
is the guarantee of handsome sums towards the guarantee fund 
of the coming Cambridge Congress by several native rulers, 
among others the Mir of Khairpur, the Raja of Lunawada, the 
Nawab of Radhanpur, and the Diwan of Palanpur. 

In New Zealand, an enterprising pioneer country in many 
departments, the Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Ward, is favourable. 
Not long ago he made a speech advocating the introduction of 
Esperanto into the public schools of the colony. 

In America big Esperantist societies and classes have sprung 
up with amazing rapidity during the last year. Several universities 
now hold Esperanto classes ; the Boston Massachusetts Institute 
of Technology has more than 100 students in its Esperanto class, 
and, among schools, the famous Latin School of Roxbury has 
led the way with over fifty pupils under Prof. Lowell. The 
press is devoting a large amount of attention ta Esperanto, and 
many journals of good standing are favourable. The North 
American Review has taken up the language. It printed articles 


in December and January by Dr. Zamenhof and Prof. Macloskie 
of Princeton, and followed them up by courses of lessons. It 
supplies Esperanto literature to its readers at cost price, and 
reports that evidences of interest " have been many and multiply 

Among university supporters are Profs. Huntington and Morse 
of Harvard, Prof. Viles, Ohio State University, Prof. Borgerhoff, 
Western Reserve University, Prof. Macloskie of Princeton, etc. 
On the other hand, Prof. Hugo Miinsterberg of Harvard is 
attacking Esperanto. His is a good example of the literary 
man's uninformed criticism of the universal language project, 
because it is based upon an old criticism by a German pro- 
fessor (Prof. Hamel) of the defunct Volapiik. Why Esperanto 
should be condemned for the sins of Volapiik is not obvious. 

One other useful aspect of Esperanto remains to be mentioned 
the establishment of consulships to give linguistic and other 
assistance. Many towns have already their Esperanto consuls, 
and in a few years there ought to be a haven of refuge for 
Esperantists abroad nearly everywhere. 

The following list of principal Esperanto organs will give some 
idea of the diffusion of the language. The list makes no pretence 
of being complete. 

Principal general reviews : 

Internacia Scienca Revuo. 

La Revuo (which enjoys the constant collaboration of Dr. 

Tra la Mondo. (This review has recently held, by the colla- 
boration of its readers, an international inquiry into education 
in all countries. The report is appearing in the February number 
and following. This is a good example of the sort of interna- 
tional work which can be done for and by readers in every corner 
of the globe.) 

Other organs : 

The British Esperantist. 

Lingvo Internacia (the doyen of Esperanto journals). 


LEsp'erantiste (France). 

Germana Esperantisto. 

Eho (Germany). 

Svisa Espero. 

Esperanto (Switzerland). 

Juna Esperantisto (Switzerland). 

Esperanto (Hungary). 

Helpa Lingvo (Denmark). 

La Suno Hispana (Spain). 

Idealo (Sicily). 

La Algera Stelo (Algiers : has recently ceased to appear). 

La Belga Sonorilo (Belgium). 

Ruslanda Esperantisto (Russia). 

Pola Esperantisto (Poland). 

Bulgara Esperantisto (Bulgaria). 

Lorena Esperantisto. 

Esperantisten (Sweden). 

Casopis Ceskych Esperantista (Bohemia). 

L'Amerika Esperantisto (central American organ, supported 
by groups in New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, 
Los Angeles). 

La Lumo (Montreal). 

Antauen Esperantistoj (Peru). 

Brazila Revuo Esperantista (Brazil). 

La Japana Esperantisto (Japan). 

La Pioniro (India). 

Espero Katolika. 

Foto Revuo. 

Soda Revuo. 

Unua Pa'so. 

Espero Pacifista. 

Eksport Jurnalo, 

Esperanta Ligilo (for the blind in Braille). 

The New International Revieiu (Oxford) recently presented a four- 
page Esperanto supplement to its subscribers for some months. 


() Present State of Esperanto in England 

The most practical way of spreading Esperanto is to get it 
taught in the schools, so it will be best to state first what has 
been done so far in this matter. 

Esperanto has been officially accepted by the local educational 
authorities in London, Liverpool, Manchester, and other pro- 
vincial towns ; that is to say, it has been recognized as a subject 
to be taught in evening classes, if there is sufficient demand. 
At present there are classes under the London County Council 
at the following schools : Queen's Road, Dalston (Commercial 
Centre) ; Blackheath Road (Commercial Centre) ; Plough Road, 
Clapham Junction (Commercial Centre) ; Rutland Street, Mile 
End (Commercial Centre) ; Myrdle Street, Commercial Road ; 
and Hugh Myddleton School, Clerkenwell. Other classes held 
in London are at the Northern Polytechnic, Holloway Road ; 
St. Bride's Institute, Bride Lane ; City of London College, 
White Street; Co-operative Institute, Plumstead ; Working Men's 
College, St. Pancras; Stepney Library, Mile End Road; and a large 
class for teachers is held at the Cusack Institute, Moorfields. 

At Keighley, Yorks, the Board of Education has recognized 
the language as a grant-earning subject. Various local authorities 
give facilities, some paying the teacher, others supplying a room. 
Among these are Kingston-on-Thames (Technical Institute), 
Rochdale, Ipswich (Technical School), Grimsby, etc. 

It does not appear that Esperanto is yet taught in any public 
elementary school; educational officials, inspectors, etc., have 
yet to learn about the language. Many private schools now 
teach it, and at least one private girls' school of the best type 
teaches it as a regular subject, alongside French and German. 
It has been impossible to get any return or figures as to the 
extent to which it has penetrated into private and proprietary 
schools. The Northern Institute of Languages, perhaps the 
most important commercial school in the North of England, 
held an Esperanto class with sixty-three students. 


Two large examining bodies the London Chamber of Com- 
merce and the Examination Board of the National Union of 
Teachers have included Esperanto in their subjects for com- 
mercial certificates. At the London Chamber of Commerce 
examination in May 1906 the candidates were as follows : 

Entries. Passes. 
Teacher's diploma ... 6 i 

Senior 15 15 

Junior . . . 109 67 

^30 83 

There is now a Teachers' Section of the British Esperanto 
Association with an Education Committee, which is carrying 
on active work in promoting Esperanto in the schools. 

At an official reception of French teachers in London last 
year by the Board of Education, Mr. Lough, speaking on behalf 
of the Board, made a sympathetic reference to Esperanto. The 
incident is amusingly told in Esperanto by M. Boirac, Rector 
of Dijon University and a noted Esperantist, who was amongst 
the French professors. Not understanding English, he was 
growing rather sleepy during a long speech, when the word 
" Esperanto " gave him a sudden shock. He thought the 
English official was poking fun at him, but was relieved to hear 
that the allusion had been sympathetic. 

At this year's meeting of the Modern Language Society at 
Durham, the Warden of Durham University, Dean Kitchin, in 
welcoming the society to the town and university, gave con- 
siderable prominence in his speech to Esperanto, remarking that, 
to judge by its rapid growth and the sanity of its reformed 
grammar, one might easily believe that it will win general use.* 
Such references in high places illustrate the tendency to admit 

* He continued : " To me it seems that Esperanto in vocabulary and 
grammar is a miracle of simplicity." 



that there may be something in this international language 

There are now (May 1907) seventy local Esperanto societies in 
Great Britain on the list of societies affiliated to the British 
Esperanto Association, and often several new ones are formed 
in a month. The first were Keighley and London, founded 
1902. Seven more were formed in 1903; and since the 
beginning of 1906 no less than thirty-six. Besides the members 
of these there are a great many learners in classes and individual 
Esperantists who belong to no affiliated group. Every month one 
reads lists of lectures given in the most diverse places, very often 
with the note that a local club or class resulted, or that a large 
sale of Esperanto literature took place. Sometimes the immediate 
number of converts is surprising : e.g. on April 22, 1907, after 
a lecture on Esperanto at the Technical College, Darlington, 
seventy-eight students entered their names for a week's course of 
lessons to be held in the college three times a day. 

There are now Esperanto consuls in the following towns: 
Bradford, Chester, Edinburgh, Harrogate, Hull, Hunslet, 
Keighley, Leeds, Liverpool, Nottingham, Oakworth, Plymouth, 
Rhos, Southampton, and St. Helens. Birmingham has within 
the last few months taken up the cause with its usual energy, 
and now has a large class. 

In England the universities have been slow to show interest 
in Esperanto ; but now that Cambridge has been selected as the 
seat of the Congress in 1907, the university is granting every 
facility, as also is the town council, in use of rooms and the like, 
and some professors and other members of the university are 
cordially co-operating. Last October Prof. Skeat, one of the 
fathers of English philology, took the chair at a preliminary 
meeting, and made a speech very favourable to Esperanto. 
He said, " I think Esperanto is a very good movement, and I 
hope it will succeed." The subject of Esperanto is being well 
put before the teachers of Cambridgeshire, and the railway 
companies all over the country and abroad are granting special 


fares for the congress.* It is probable that the overwhelming 
demonstration of the possibilities of this international language 
will open the eyes of many who have hitherto been indifferent, 
and that the movement will enter on a new phase of expansion in 
England, and through the example of England, which is closely 
watched abroad, in the world at large. 



THE extent to which more or less artificial languages are already 
used in various parts of the world for the transaction of inter- 
racial business, and the persistent preoccupation of thinkers with 
the idea for the last 200 years, culminating in the production of 
a great number of schemes in our own times, show that there is 
a demand for an international language, more perfect than has 
yet been available and universally valid. The list of languages 
proposed (see Part II., chap, ii.) by no means represents all that 
has been written and thought upon the subject. Many more have 
proposed solutions of the question, beginning with such men as 
Becher (1661), Kirchner (1665), Porele (1667), Upperdorf (1679), 
Miiller (1681), Lobkowitz (1687), Besuier (1684), Solbrig (1725), 
Taboltzafo (1772), and continuing down to the present day. The 
striking success of Volapiik and Esperanto in gaining, within a 
few years of publication, many thousands of ardent supporters 
has also been a revelation. It has proved most conclusively that 
there is a demand. If so many people in all lands have been 
willing to give up time and money to learning and promoting a 
language from which they could not expect to reap anything like 
full benefit for many years, what must be its value when ripened 
to yield full profits, i.e. when universally adopted ? 

* It is a striking fact that six weeks before the opening of the congress 
700 members have already secured their tickets. 


There are two main obstacles to universal adoption. The first 
is common to all projects of reform the force of inertia. It is 
hard to win practical support for a new thing, even when assent 
is freely given in theory to its utility. The second is peculiar to 
Esperanto, and consists in the discrediting of the cause of inter- 
national language through the failure of Volapiik. Good examples 
of its operation are afforded by the slowness of Germany to 
recognize Esperanto, and by the criticism of Prof. Miinsterberg 
(formerly of Freiburg, Germany) in America, based as it is on an 
old German criticism of Volapiik, and transferred at second-hand 
to Esperanto. 

Hence every effort should be made to induce critics of 
Esperanto to examine the language before pronouncing judg- 
ment to criticise the real thing, instead of some bogy of 
their imagination. 

One bogy which has caused much misdirected criticism is 
raised by misunderstanding of the word "universal" in the 
phrase universal language. It is necessary to insist upon the 
fact that " universal " means universally adopted and everywhere 
current as an auxiliary to the mother-tongue for purposes of 
international communication. It does not mean a universal 
language for home consumption as a substitute for national 
language. In Baconian language, this bogy may be called an 
" idol of the market-place," since it rests upon confusion of 

Pursuing the Baconian classification of error, we may call the 
literary man's nightmare of the invasion of literature by the uni- 
versal language an " idol of the theatre." The lesson of experience 
is, that it is well not to alienate the powerful literary interest justly 
concerned in upholding the dignity and purity of national speech 
by making extravagant claims on behalf of the auxiliary language. 
It is capable of conveying matter or content in any department of 
human activity with great nicety ; but where it is a question of 
reproducing by actual translation the form or manner of some 
masterpiece of national literature, it will not, by nature of its very 


virtues, give a full idea of the rich play of varied synonymic in the 

The great practical lesson of Volapuk is, that alteration brings 
dissension, and dissension brings death. A universal language 
must be in essentials, like Esperanto, inviolable. If ever the 
time comes for modification in any essential point, it will be after 
official international recognition in the schools. Gradual reforms 
could then, if necessary, be introduced by authority, as in the case 
of the recent French " Tolerations," or the German reforms in 

So long as the world is divided among rival great powers, no 
national language can be recognized as universal by them all. It 
is therefore a choice between an artificial language or nothing. 
As regards the structure of the artificial language itself, history 
shows clearly that it must be a posteriori, not a priori. It must 
select its constituent roots and its spoken sounds on the principle 
of maximum of internationality, and its grammar must be a 
simplification of natural existing grammar. On the other hand, 
a recent tendency to brand as "arbitrary " and a priori everything 
that makes for regularity, if it is not directly borrowed, is to be 
resisted. It is possible to overdo even the best of rules by slavish 
and unintelligent application. Thus it is urged by extremists that 
some of the neatest labour-saving devices of Esperanto are arbitrary, 
and therefore to be condemned. 

Take the Esperanto suffix -in-, which denotes the feminine. 
prefix mal- opposite. 

suffix -tg- causative action. 

Given the roots bov- (ox) ; fort- (strong) ; grand- (big) : 
Esperanto forms bovino (cow) ; malforta (weak) ; grandigi (to 
augment) ; malgrandigi (to diminish). 

These words are arbitrary, because not borrowed from national 
language. Let the public decide for itself whether it prefers a 
language which insists (in order not to be "arbitrary") upon 
borrowing fresh roots to express these ideas. Let any one who 
has learnt Latin, French, and German try how long it takes him 


to think of the masculine of vacca, vache, Kuh ; the opposite of 
fortis, fort, stark ; the Latin, French, and German ways of 
expressing " to make big " and " to make small." The issue 
is hardly doubtful. 

Again, the languages upon whose vocabulary and grammar the 
international language is to be based must be Aryan (Indo- 
European). This is a practical point. The non-European 
peoples will consent to learn " simplified Aryan " just as they 
are adopting Aryan civilization; but the converse is not true. 
The Europeans will go without an international language rather 
than learn one based to some extent upon Japanese or Mongolian. 
The only prescription for securing a large field is greatest ease 
for greatest number, with a handicap in favour of Europeans, to 
induce them to enter. 




ALL national languages are full of redundant and overlapping 
grammatical devices for expressing what could be equally well 
expressed by a single uniform device. They bristle with 
irregularities and exceptions. Their forms and phrases are 
largely the result of chance and partial survival, arbitrary usage, 
and false analogy. It is obvious that a perfectly regular artificial 
language is far easier to learn. But the point to be insisted 
on here is, that artificial simplification of language is no fantastic 
craze, but merely a perfect realization of a natural tendency, 
which the history of language shows to exist. 

At first sight this may seem to conflict with what was said 
in Part I., chap. x. But there is no real inconsistency. As 
pointed out there, there is no reason to think that Nature, left 
to herself, would ever produce a universal language, or that 
a simpler language would win, in a struggle with more complex 
ones, on account of its simplicity. But this does not prevent 
there being a real natural tendency to simplification though 
in natural languages this tendency is constantly thwarted, and 
can never produce its full effect. 

How, then, is this tendency to simplification shown in the 



history of Aryan (Indo-European) languages ? For it must 
be emphasized that for the purposes of this discussion history 
of language means history of Aryan language. 

The Aryan group of languages includes Sanskrit and its 
descendants in the East, Greek, Latin, all modern Romance 
languages (French, Italian, Spanish, etc.), all Germanic lan- 
guages (English, German, Scandinavian, etc.), all Slav languages 
(Russian, Polish, etc.) in fact, all the principal languages of 
Europe, except Hungarian, Basque, and Finnish. The main 
tendency of this group of languages has been, technically 
speaking, to become analytic instead of synthetic that is, to 
abandon complex systems of inflection by means of case and 
verbal endings, and to substitute prepositions and auxiliaries. 
Thus, taking Latin as the type of old synthetic Aryan language, 
its declension of nouns and conjugation of verbs present an 
enormously greater complexity of forms than are employed by 
English, the most advanced of the modern analytical languages, 
to express the same grammatical relations. For example : 

Nom. mensa = a table. 
Ace. mensam = a table. 
Gen. mensae = of a table. 

Dat. mensae = 



to or for a 

by, with, or 

from a table. 


= tables. 


= tables. 


= of tables. 


= to or for tables. 



= I by, with, or from 

By the time you have learnt these various Latin case endings 
(-a, -at/i, -ae, -ae, -a \ -ae, -as, -arum, -is, -is), you have only 
learnt one out of many types of declension. Passing on to the 
second Latin type or declension, e.g. dominus = master, you have 
to learn a whole fresh set of case endings (-us, -urn, -/, -o, -o ; 
-/, -os, -orum, -is, -is) to express the same grammatical relations ; 
whereas in English you apply the same set of prepositions to 
the word " master " without change, except for a uniform, -s in 
the plural. As there are a great many types of Latin noun, 


the simplification in English, effected by using invariable 
prepositions without inflection, is very great. It is just the 
same with the verb. Take the English regular verb "to love": 
the four forms love, loves, loving, loved, about exhaust the number 
of forms to be learned (omitting the second person singular, 
which is practically dead) ; the rest is done by auxiliaries, which 
are the same for each verb. Latin, on the other hand, possesses 
very numerous forms of the verb, and the whole set of numerous 
forms varies for each type of verb. In the aggregate the simpli- 
fication in English is enormous. This process of simplification 
is common to all the modern Aryan languages, but they have 
not all made equal progress in carrying it out. 

Now, it is a remarkable fact, and a very suggestive one for 
those who seek to trace the connexion between the course of 
a nation's language and its history, that the degree of progress 
made by the languages of Europe along their common line 
of evolution does on the whole, as a matter of historical fact, 
correspond with the respective degree of material, social, and 
economic advancement attained by the nations that use them. 
Take this question of case endings. Russia has retained a high 
degree of inflection in her language, having seven cases with 
distinct endings. These seven cases are common to the Slav 
languages in general ; two of them (Sorbish and Slovenish) have, 
like Gothic and Greek, a dual number, a feature which has long 
passed away from the languages of Western Europe. Again, 
the Slav tongues decline many more of the numerals than most 
Aryan languages. Germany, which, until the recent formation 
of the German Empire, was undoubtedly a century slow by West 
European time, still has four cases ; or, in view of the moribund 
dative, should we rather say three and a half? France and 
England manage their affairs in a universal nominative * (if one 
can give any name to a universal case), as far as nouns, adjectives, 

* Though historically, of course, the Low Latin universal case, from 
which many French, and therefore English, words are derived, was the 


and articles are concerned. Their pronouns offer the sole 
survival of declension by case endings. Here France, the 
runner-up, is a trifle slow in the possession of a real, live dative 
case of the pronoun (ace. le, la, les ; dat. lui, leur). England 
wins by a neck with one universal oblique case (him, her, them). 
This insidious suggestion is not meant to endanger the entente 
cordiale ; even perfidious Albion would not convict the French 
nation of arrested development on the side-issue of pronominal 
atavism. Mark Twain says he paid double for a German dog, 
because he bought it in the dative case ; but no nation need be 
damned for a dative. We have no use for the coup de Jarnac. 

But consider the article. Here, if anywhere, is a test of 
the power of a language to move with the times. For some 
reason or other (the real underlying causes of these changes 
in language needs are obscure) modern life has need of the 
article, though the highly civilized Romans did very well without 
it. So strong is this need that, in the middle ages, when Latin 
was used as an international language by the learned, a definite 
article (hie or TO) was foisted into the language. How is it with 
the modern world ? The Slavs have remained in this matter 
at the point of view of the ancient world. They are articleless. 
Germany has a cumbrous three-gender, four-case article ; France 
rejoices in a two-gender, one-case article with a distinct form 
for the plural. The ripe product of tendency, the infant heir 
of the eloquent ages, to whose birth the law of Aryan evolution 
groaned and travailed until but now, the most useful, if not the 
"mightiest," monosyllable "ever moulded by the lips of man," the 
" the," one and indeclinable, was born in the Anglo-Saxon mouth, 
and sublimed to its unique simplicity by Anglo-Saxon progress. 

The general law of progress in language could be illustrated 
equally well from the history of genders as exhibited in various 
languages. We are here only dealing with Aryan languages, but, 
merely by way of illustration, it may be mentioned that a primi- 
tive African language offers seven " genders," or grammatical 
categories requiring the same kind of concords as genders. In 


Europe we pass westward from the three genders of Germany, 
curving through feminine and masculine France {place aux 
dames /) to monogendric Britain. Only linguistic arbitrary gender 
is here referred to ; this has nothing to do with suffragettes or 
" defeminization." 

Again, take agreement of adjectives. In the ancient world, 
whether Greek, Latin, Gothic, or Anglo-Saxon, adjectives had to 
follow nouns through all the mazes of case and number inflection, 
and had also to agree in gender. In this matter German has 
gone ahead of French, in that its adjectives do not submit to 
change of form in order to indicate agreement, when they are 
used predicatively (e.g. " ein guter Mann " ; " der gut<? Mann " ; 
but " der Mann ist gut "). But English has distanced the field, 
and was alone in at the death of the old concords, which 
moistened our childhood's dry Latin with tears. 

Whatever test be applied, the common tendency towards 
simplification, from synthesis to analysis, is there; and in its 
every manifestation English has gone farthest among the great 
literary languages. It is necessary to add this qualification 
" among the great literary languages " because, in this process 
of simplification, English has a very curious rival, and possibly a 
superior, in the Taal of South Africa. The curious thing is that 
a local dialect should have shown itself so progressive, seeing 
that the distinctive note of most dialects is conservatism, their 
chief characteristics being local survivals.* It is probable that 
the advanced degree of simplification attained by the Taal is the 
result of deliberate and conscious adaptation of their language by 
the original settlers to the needs of the natives. Just as English- 
men speak Pidgin-English to coolies in the East, so the old 
trekkers must have removed irregularities and concords from their 

* Of course a difference must be expected between a dialect spoken by a 
miscellaneous set of settlers in a foreign land and one in use as an indigenous 
growth from father to son. But the habitants, as the French settlers in 
Quebec are called, who, like the Boers, are mainly a pastoral and primitive 
people, have retained an antiquated form of French, with no simplification. 


Dutch, so that the Kaffirs could understand it. If this is so, it is 
another illustration of the essential feature that an international 
language must possess. Even the Boer farmers, under the stress 
of practical necessity, grasped the need of simplification. 

The natural tendency towards elimination of exceptions is also 
strongly marked in the speech of the uneducated. Miss Loane, 
who has had life-long experience of nursing work among the 
poorest classes in England, tabulates (The Queen's Poor, p. 112) 
the points in which at the present day the language of the poor 
differs from that of the middle and upper classes. Under the 
heading of grammar she singles out specially superabundance of 
negatives, and then proceeds : " Other grammatical errors. These 
are nearly all on the lines of simplification. It is correct to say 
' myself, herself, yourself, ourselves.' Very well : let us complete 
the list with 'hisself and ' theirselves.' Most verbs are regular: 
why not all ? Let us say ' corned ' and ' goed,' ' seed ' and 
' bringed ' and ' teached.' " Miss Loane probably exaggerates with 
her " nearly all." For instance, as regards the uneducated form 
of the past tense of " to come," surely " come " is a commoner 
form than " corned." Similarly the illiterate for " I did " is " I 
done," not " I doed," which would be the regular simplification. 
But the natural tendency is certainly there, and it is strong. 

Precisely the same tendency is observable in the present 
development of literary languages. They have all inherited many 
irregular verbal conjugations from the past as part of their 
national property, and these, by the nature of the case, comprise 
most of the commonest words in the language, because the most 
used is the most subject to abbreviation and modification. But 
these irregular types of inflection have long been dead, in the 
sense that they are fossilized survivals, incapable of propagating 
their kind. When a new word is admitted into the language, it is 
conjugated regularly. Thus, though we still say " I go I went ; 
I run I ran," because we cannot help ourselves, when we are 
free to choose we say, "I cycle I cycled ; I wire I wired"; just 
as the French say "telegraphier," and not " telegraphir," -oir, or -re. 


Considering the strength of this stream of natural tendency, it 
seems a most natural thing to start again, for international pur- 
poses, with a form of simplified Aryan language, and, being free 
from the dead hand of the past, to set up the simplest forms of 
conjugation, etc., and make every word in the language conform 
to them. 

Indeed, this question of artificial simplification of language has 
of late years emerged from the scholar's study and become a 
matter of practical politics, even as regards the leading national 
languages. Within the last few years there have been official 
edicts in France and Germany, embodying reforms either in 
spelling or grammar, with the sole object of simplifying. The 
latest attempt at linguistic jerrymandering has been the somewhat 
autocratic document of President Roosevelt. He has found that 
there are limits to what the American people will stand even from 
him, and it seems likely to remain a dead letter. But there is 
not the smallest doubt that the English language is heavily 
handicapped by its eccentric vowel pronunciation and its spelling 
that has failed to keep pace with the development of the language. 
The same is true, though in a lesser degree, of the spelling and 
pronunciation of French. Since the whole theory of spelling 
and, until a few hundred years ago, its practice too consisted in 
nothing else but an attempt to represent simply and accurately 
the spoken word, most unprejudiced people would admit that 
simplification is in principle advisable. But the practical diffi- 
culties in the way of simplification of a national language are 
almost prohibitive. It is hard to see that there are any such 
obstacles in the way of the adoption of a simple and perfectly 
phonetic international artificial language. We dislike change 
because it is change, and new things because they are new. We 
go on suffering from a movable Easter, which most practically 
inconveniences great numbers of people and interests, and seems 
to benefit no one at all, simply because it is no one's business to 
change it. If once the public could be got to examine seriously 
the case for an artificial international language, they could hardly 


fail to recognize what an easy, simple, and natural thing it is, 
and how soon it would pay off all capital sunk in its universal 
adoption, and be pure profit. 


This seems the best place to deal with a criticism of Esperanto 
which has an air of plausibility. It is urged that Esperanto does 
not carry the process of simplification far enough, and that in 
two important points it shows a retrograde tendency to revert 
to a more primitive stage of language, already left behind by the 
most advanced natural languages. These points are : 

(1) The possession of an accusative case. 

(2) The agreement of adjectives. 

Now, it must be borne in mind that the business of a universal 
language is, not to adhere pedantically to any philological theory, 
not to make a fetish of principle, not to strive after any theoretical 
perfection in the observance of certain laws of construction, 
but simply to be easy. The principle of simplification is an 
admirable one, because it furthers this end, and for this reason 
only. The moment it ceases to do so, it must give way before 
a higher canon, which demands that an international language 
shall offer the greatest ease, combined with efficiency, for the 
greatest number. The fact that a scientific study of language 
reveals a strong natural tendency towards simplification, and 
that this tendency has in certain languages assumed certain 
forms, is not in itself a proof that an artificial language is bound 
to follow the historical lines of evolution in every detail. It 
will follow them just so far as, and no farther than, they conduce 
to its paramount end greatest ease for greatest number, plus 
maximum of efficiency. In constructing an international language, 
the question then becomes, in each case that comes up for 
decision : How far does the proposed simplification conduce to 
ease without sacrificing efficiency? Does the cost of retention 
(reckoned in terms of sacrifice of ease) of the unsimplified form 


outweigh the advantages (reckoned in terms of efficiency) it 
confers, and which would be lost if it was simplified out of 
existence ? Let us then examine briefly the two points criticised, 
remembering that the main function of the argument from 
history of language is, not to deduce therefrom hard-and-fast 
rules for the construction of international language, but to remove 
the unreasoning prejudice of numerous objectors, who cannot 
pardon the international language for being "artificial," i.e. 
consciously simplified. 

(i) The Accusative Case 

This is formed in Esperanto by adding the letter -n. This one 
form is universal for nouns, adjectives, and pronouns singular 
and plural. Ex. : 

Nom. bona patro (good father), plural, bonaj patroj. 
Ace. bonan patron bonajn patrojn. 

Suppose one were to suppress this -n. 

(a) Cost of retention of unsimplified form : Remembering to 
add this -n. 

(b] Advantages of retention : The flexibility of the language is 
enormously increased ; the words can be put in any order without 
obscuring or changing the sense. Ex. : 

La patro amas sian filon = the father loves his son. 

Sian filon amas la patro (in English "his son loves the 
father " has a different sense). 

Amas la patro sian filon ( = the father loves his son, but . . .). 

La patro sian filon amas. 

Sian filon la patro amas (= it is his son that the father loves). 

In every case the Esperanto sentence is perfectly clear, the 
meaning is the same, but great scope is afforded for emphasis 
and shades of gradation. Further, every nation is enabled to \ 
arrange the words as suits it best, without becoming less in- 
telligible to other nations. Readers of Greek and Latin know 
the enormous advantage of free word order. For purposes of 


rendering the spirit and swing of national works of literature in 
Esperanto, and for facilitating the writing of verse, the accusative 
is a priceless boon. Is the price too high ? 

N.B. Those people who are most apt to omit the -n of the 
accusative, having no accusative in their own language, generally 
make their meaning perfectly clear without it, because they are 
accustomed to indicate the objective case by the order in which 
they place their words. They make a mistake of Esperanto by 
omitting the -n, but they are understood, which is the essential. 

(2) The Agreement of Adjectives 

Adjectives in Esperanto agree with their substantives in 
number and case. Ex. : bona patro, bonan patron, bonaj patroj, 
bonajn patrojn. 

Suppose one were to suppress agreement of adjectives. 

(a) Cost of retention of agreement : Remembering to add 
-j for the plural and -n for the accusative. 

(b) Advantages of retention : Greater clearness ; conformity 
with the usage of the majority of languages ; euphony. 

Esperanto has wisely adopted full, vocalic, syllabic endings for 
words. Contrast Esp. bon-o with French bon, Eng. good, Germ. 
gut. By this means Esperanto is not only rendered slower, more 
harmonious, and easier of comprehension ; it is also able to 
denote the parts of speech clearly to eye and ear by their form. 
Thus final -o bespeaks a noun ; -a, an adjective ; -e, an adverb ; 
-/, an infinitive, etc. 

Now, since all adjectives end in syllabic -a, it is much harder 
to keep them uninflected than if they ended with a consonant 
like the Eng. " good." To talk about bona patroj would not 
only seem a hideous barbarism to all Latin peoples, whose 
languages Esperanto most resembles, but it would also offend 
the bulk of Northerners. After a very little practice it is really 
/'easier to say bonaj patroj than bona patroj. The assimilation of 
termination tempts the ear and tongue. 


The grammar is also simplified. For if adjectives agreeing 
with nouns and pronouns expressed were invariable, it would 
probably be necessary to introduce special rules to meet the 
case of adjectives standing as nouns, or where the qualified word 
was suppressed. 

Again, is the price too high compared to the advantages ? 



(i) ESPERANTO takes a natural place at the beginning of the 
sequence of languages, upon which is founded the scheme of 
language-teaching in the Reform Schools of Germany, and in some 
of the more progressive English schools. 

The principle involved in this scheme is that of orderly pro- 
gression from the easier to the more difficult. Only one foreign 
language is begun at a time. The easiest language in the school 
curriculum is begun first. Enough hours per week are devoted 
to this language to allow of decent progress being made. When 
the pupils have a fair grip of the elements of one language, 
another is begun. The bulk of the school language-teaching 
hours are now devoted to the new language, and sufficient weekly 
hours are given to the language already learnt to avoid back- 
sliding at least. Thus in a German school of the new type the 
linguistic hours are devoted in the lowest classes to the mother- 
tongue. When the pupils have some idea what language means, 
and have acquired some notion of grammar, they are given a 
school year or two of French. After this Latin is begun in the 
upper part of the school, and Greek at a corresponding interval 
after Latin. 

Now, it is one of the commonest complaints of teachers in our 
secondary schools that they have to begin teaching Latin or 



French to boys who have no knowledge whatever of grammar. 
Fancy the hopelessness of trying to teach an English boy the 
construction of a Latin or French sentence when he does not 
know what a relative or demonstrative pronoun means ! This is 
the fate of so many a master that quite a number of them resign 
themselves to giving up a good part of their French or Latin 
hour to endeavouring to imbue their flock with some notions of 
grammar in general. They naturally try to appeal to their boys 
through the medium of their own language. But those who have 
incautiously upset their class from the frying-pan of qui, quae, 
quod, into the fire of English demonstrative and relative pronouns 
get a foretaste of the fire that dieth not. Facilis descensus Averni. 
Happy if they do not lose heart, and step downward from the 
fire to ashes reinforced with sackcloth. 

" I contend that that ' that ' that that gentleman said was right." 
This is the " abstract and brief chronicle " of their woes some- 
times, indeed, the epitaph of their pedagogical career, if they are 
too sickened of the Sisiphean task of trying to teach grammar 
on insufficient basis. And this use, or abuse, of the hardworked 
word " that " is only an extreme case which illustrates the difficulty 
of teaching grammar to babes, through the medium of a language 
honeycombed with synonyms, homonyms, exceptions, and other 
pitfalls (can you be honeycombed with a pitfall?) a language 
which seems to take a perverse delight in breaking all its own 
rules and generally scoring off the beginner. And for the dull 
beginner, what language does not seem to conform to this type ? 
Answer : Esperanto. 

In other words, it would seem that, for the grinding of grammar 
and the advancement of sound learning in the initial stage, there 
is nothing like an absolutely uniform and regular language,* a 

* Cf. Sir Oliver Lodge : " It would certainly appear that for this purpose 
[i.e. educative language-learning for children] the fully inflected ancient 
languages are best and most satisfactory ; if they were still more complete and 
regular, like Esperanto, they would be better still to begin with " (School 
Teaching and School Reform, p. 21 : chapter on Curricula and Methods). 


type tongue, something that corresponds in the linguistic hierarchy 
to Euclid or the first rules of arithmetic in the mathematical, 
something clear, consistent, self-evident, and of universal 

Take our sentence again : " I contend that that 'that 'that that 
gentleman said was right." If our beginner has imbibed his first 
notions of grammar through the medium of a type language, in 
which a noun is always a noun, and is stamped as such by its 
form (this, by the way, is an enormous aid in making the 
thing clear to children) ; in which an adjective is always an 
adjective, and is stamped as such by its form ; land so on through 
all the other parts of speech, when the teacher comes to analyse 
the sentence given, he will be able to explain it by reference to 
the known forms of the regular key-language. He will point out 
that of the " thats " : the first is the Esperanto ke (which is final, 
because ke never means anything else) ; the second is tiu (at 
once revealed by its form to be a demonstrative), the fourth kiu, 
and so on. As for the third " that," which is rather hard for a 
child to grasp, he will be able to make it into a noun in form by 
merely adding -o to the Esperanto equivalent for any "that" 
required. He will not be doing violence to the language; for 
Esperanto consists of roots, which habitually do duty as noun, 
verb, adjective, etc., according to the termination added. Those 
who know the value of the concrete and tangible in dealing with 
children will grasp the significance of the new possibilities that are 
thus for the first time opened up to language-teachers. 

To sum up : Natural languages are all hard, and the beginner 
can never go far enough to get a rule fixed soundly in his mind 
without meeting exceptions which puzzle and confuse him. 
Esperanto is as clear, logical, and consistent as arithmetic, and, 
like arithmetic, depends more upon intelligence than upon 
memory work. If Esperanto were adopted as the first foreign 
language to be taught in schools, and all grammatical teaching 
were postponed until Esperanto had been begun, and then given 
entirely through the medium of Esperanto until a sound notion of 


grammatical rules and categories had been instilled, it would 
probably be found that the subsequent task of learning natural 
languages would be facilitated and abridged. From the very start 
it would be possible to prevent certain common errors and 
confusions, that tend to become engrained in juvenile minds by 
the fluctuating or contradictory usage of their own language, to 
their great let and hindrance in the subsequent stages of language- 
learning. The skeleton outline of grammatical theory with 
concrete examples afforded by Esperanto would shield against 
vitiating initial mistakes, in much the same way as the use of a 
scientific phonetic alphabet, when a foreign language is presented 
for the first time to the English beginner in written form, shields 
him against carrying over his native mixed vowel system to 
languages which use the same letters as English, but give quite a 
different value to them. In both cases * the essentials of the new 
instrument of learning are the same that it be of universal 
application, that it be sufficiently different from the mother-tongue 
or alphabet to prevent confusion by association of ideas, that each 
of the new forms or letters convey only one idea or sound 
respectively, and that this idea or sound be always and only 
conveyed by that form or letter. 

(2) From a psychological point of view Esperanto would be a 
rewarding subject of study for children. 

The above remarks on sequence of languages show that, by 
placing Esperanto first in the language curriculum, justice is done 
to the psychological maxim : from the easier to the harder, from 
the regular to the exceptional. It may further be argued (a) that 
Esperanto is educative in the real sense of the word, i.e. suitable 
for drawing out and developing the reasoning powers ; (ti) that it 
would act as a stimulus, and by its ease set a higher standard of 
attainment in language-learning. 

(a) Amidst all the discussion of " educationists " about 
methods, curricula, sequence of studies, and the rest, one 

* i.e. scientific regular type grammar and scientific regular phonetic 


fundamental fact continues to face the teacher when he gets down 
to business ; and that is, that he has got to make the taught 
think for themselves. In proportion as his teaching makes them 
contribute their share of effort will it be fruitful. This is, of 
course, the merest truism, sometimes dignified in the current 
pedagogical slang by the name of " self-activity," or the like. But 
whatever new bottles the theorists, and their extreme left wing 
the faddists, may choose to serve up our old wine in, the fact is 
there : children have got to be made to use their own brains. 
The eternal question that faces the teacher is, how to provide 
problems that children really can work out by using their own 
brains. The trouble about history, geography, English literature, 
and such subjects is that the subject-matter of the problems they 
offer for solution lies beyond the experience of the young, and to 
a large extent beyond their reasoning powers. In teaching all 
such subjects there is accordingly the perpetual danger that the 
real work done may degenerate into mere memory work, or 
parrot-like cramming of notes or dates. 

The same difficulty is encountered in science teaching. 
Heuristic methods have been devised to meet the difficulty. 
Though they are no doubt psychologically sound, they tend to be 
very slow in results ; hence the common jibe that a boy may 
learn as much by them in five years as he could learn out of a 
a shilling text-book in a term. 

The old argument that " mental gymnastics " are best supplied 
by Latin is sound to the extent that Latin really does furnish a 
perpetual series of small problems that have to be solved by the 
aid of grammar and dictionary, but which do involve real mental 
effort, since mere mechanical looking out of words does not suffice 
for their elucidation. But for various reasons, such as the 
remoteness of the ancient world in time, place, modes of thought, 
etc., Latin tends to be too hard and not interesting enough for the 
average boy. He gets discouraged, and develops a habit of only 
working enough to keep out of trouble with the school authorities, 
and is apt to leave school with an unintelligent attitude towards 


intellectual things in general. This is the result of early drudging 
at a subject in which progress is very slow, and which by its nature 
is uncongenial. The great desideratum is a linguistic subject 
which shall at once inculcate a feeling for language (German 
Sprachgefiiht), and yet be easy enough to admit of rapid progress. 
Nothing keeps alive the quickening zest that makes learning 
fruitful like the consciousness of making rapid progress. 

Hitherto arithmetic and Euclid have been the ideal subjects for 
providing the kind of problem required one that can be worked 
out with certainty by the aid of rule and use of brain, without 
calling for knowledge or experience that the child cannot have. 
The facts are self-evident, and follow from principles, without 
involving any extraneous acquaintance with life or literature, 
and no deadening memory work is required. If only there were 
some analogous subject on the literary side, to give a general 
grip of principles, uncomplicated by any arbitrary element, what 
a boon it would be ! and what a sound preparation for real and 
more advanced linguistic study for those who showed aptitude 
for this line ! Arithmetic and Euclid both really depend upon 
common sense ; but partly owing to their abstract nature, and 
partly because they are always classed as " mathematics," they 
seem to contain something repellent to many literary or linguistic 
types of mind. 

With the invention of a perfectly regular and logically con- 
structed language, a concrete embodiment of the chief principles 
of language structure, we have offered us for the first time the 
hitherto missing linguistic equivalent of arithmetic or Euclid. 
In a regular language, just ^because everything goes by rule, 
problems can be set and worked out analogous to sums in 
arithmetic and riders in Euclid. Given the necessary roots and 
rules, the learner can manufacture the necessary vocabulary and 
produce the answer with the same logical inevitability; and he 
has to use his brains to apply his rules, instead of merely copying 
words out of a dictionary, or depending upon his memory for 


In this way all that part of language-study which tends to be 
dead weight in teaching the young is got rid of in one fell swoop, 
and this though the language taught and learnt is a highly 
developed instrument for reading, writing, speaking, and literary 
expression. This dead weight includes most of the unintelligent 
memorizing, all exceptions, all complicated systems of declension 
and conjugation, all irregular comparison of adjectives and 
adverbs, all syntactical subtleties (cf. the sequence of tenses, 
oratio obliqua, the syntax of subordinate clauses, in Latin ; and 
the famous conditional sentences, with the no less notorious 
ov and /*>/ in Greek), all conflicting and illogical uses of auxiliaries 
(cf. tore and avoir in French, and sein and haben in German), 
besides a host of other old enemies. Some of these things of 
course are not wholly memory work, especially the syntax, which 
involves a real feeling for language. But these would be much 
better postponed until one easy foreign language has been learnt 
thoroughly. Every multilinguist knows that each foreign language 
is easier to learn than the last. With a perfectly regular artificial 
language you can make so much progress in a short time that 
you can use it freely for practical purposes. Yet it does not come 
of itself, like the mother-tongue. This free manipulation of a 
consciously acquired language is the very best training for forming 
a feeling for language far better than weary stumbling over the 
baby stages of a hard language. When you can read, write, and 
speak one very easy artificial language, which you have had to 
learn as a foreign one, then is the time when you can profitably 
tackle the difficulties of natural language, appreciating the niceties 
of syntax, and realizing, by comparison with your normal key- 
language, in what points natural languages are merely arbitrary 
and have to be learnt by heart. Those who have early conquered 
the grammar and syntax of any foreign language, but have had to 
put in years of hard (largely memory) work before they could 
write or speak, e.g., Latin Latin, French French, or German 
German, will realize the saving effected, when they are told that 
Esperanto has no idiom, no arbitrary usage, The combination of 


words is not governed, as in natural languages, by tradition 
(which tradition has to be assimilated in the sweat of the brow), 
but is free, the only limits being common sense, common grammar, 
and lucidity. 

To those who do not know Esperanto it may seem a dark 
saying that language riders can be worked out in the same way as 
geometrical ones. To understand this some knowledge of the 
language is necessary (for sample problems see Appendix A, 
p. 200). But for the sake of making the argument intelligible 
it may here be stated that one of the labour-saving, vocabulary- 
saving devices of Esperanto is the employment of a number of 
suffixes with fixed meaning, that can be added to any root. Thus : 

The suffix -ej- denotes place. 

-/'/- ,, instrument. 

-ig- causation. 
Final -o denotes a noun. 

Given this and the root san- (cf. Lat. sanus), containing the idea 
of health, form words for " to heal " (san-ig-i = to cause to be 
well) ; " medicine " (san-ig-il-o = instrument of healing) ; 
" hospital " (san-ig-ej-o = place of healing), etc. 

This is merely an example. The combinations and permutations 
are infinite ; they give a healthy knowledge of word-building, and 
can be used in putting whole pages of carefully prepared idiomatic 
English into Esperanto. Practical experience shows that, given 
the necessary crude roots, the necessary suffixes, and a one-page 
grammar of the Esperanto language, an intelligent person can 
produce in Esperanto a translation of a page of idiomatic English, 
not Ollendorfian phrases, without having learnt Esperanto. 

(b] Experience also shows that the intelligent one thoroughly 
enjoys himself while doing so ; and having done so, experiences 
a thrill of exhilaration almost amounting to awe at having made 
a better translation into a language he has never learnt than he 
could make into a national language that he has learnt for years, 
e.g. Latin, French, or German. 


And what is exhilaration in the dry tree may be sustained 
working keenness in the green. The stimulus to the young 
mind of progress swift and sure is immense. A child who has 
learnt to read, write, and speak Esperanto in six months, as is 
very possible within the natural limits of power of expression 
imposed by his age, not only has a sound working knowledge of 
grammatical categories and forms, which will stand him in good 
stead in subsequent language-learning ; he has also a quite 
different attitude of mind une tout autre mentality to use 
recent jargon towards foreign languages. His only experience 
of learning one has been that he did so with the object and result 
of being able to read, write, and speak it within a reasonable 
time. " By so much the greater and more resounding the slump 
into actuality," you will say, " when he comes to grapple with his 
next." Perhaps. But even so, the habit of acquiring fresh words 
and forms for immediate use must surely tell not to mention 
that he will incidentally have acquired a very useful Romance 
vocabulary, and a wholly admirable French lucidity of construction. 

(3) And this question of lucidity brings us to the third great 
educational advantage of Esperanto. Its opponents without 
having ever learnt it to see have urged that its preciseness 
will debauch the literary sense. Surely the exact opposite is the 
fact. Le style c'est Fhomme, and the essence of true style is that a 
man should give accurate expression to his thoughts. The French 
wit, satirizing vapid fine writing, said that language was given to 
man to enable him to conceal his thought. There is no more 
potent instrument for obscuring or concealing thought than the 
ready-made phrase. Take up many a piece of journalese or 
other slipshod writing, and note how often the conventional 
phrase or word slips from under the pen, meaning nothing in 
particular. The very conventionality disguises from writer and 
reader the confusion or absolute lack of idea it serves to cloak. 
Both are lulled by the familiar sound of the set phrase or word 
and glide easily over them. On the other hand, in using a 
language in which you construct a good deal of your vocabulary 


according to logical rule tout en marchant^ it is impossible to avoid 
thinking, at each moment, exactly what you do mean. Where 
there is no idiom, no arbitrary usage, no ready-made phrase, 
there is also far less danger of yielding to a fatal facility. 

Take an instance or two. In the Prayer Book occurs the 
phrase " Fulfil, O Lord, our desires and petitions." At Sunday 
lunch a mixed party of people, after attending morning service, 
were asked how they would render into Esperanto the word 
"desires." They nearly all plumped for dezirajo. Now, the 
Esperanto root for "desire" is dezir-. By adding -o it becomes 
a noun = the act of desiring, a desire. By adding the suffix -a), 
and then -o, it becomes concrete = a desire- (i.e. desired-) thing, 
a desire. A reference to the dictionary showed that the English 
word " desire " has both these meanings, but none of these people 
had a sufficiently accurate idea of the use of language to realize 
this. It was only when a gentleman passed his plate for a second 
helping of beef, and was asked which he expected to be fulfilled 
the beef, or his aspiration for beef that he, under the stimulus 
of hunger, adopted the rendering dezir-o, thereby saving at once 
his bacon and his additional beef. 

It is not of course necessary for people to define pedantically 
to themselves the meaning of every word they use, but surely it 
must conduce to clear thinking to use a language in which you 
are perpetually called upon, if you are writing seriously, to make 
just the mental effort necessary to think what you do mean. 

Again, consider the use of prepositions. This is, in nearly all 
national languages, extremely fluctuating and arbitrary. Take a 
few English phrases showing the use of the prepositions " at " and 
" with." " At seven o'clock " ; " at any price " ; " at all times " ; 
" at the worst " ; " let it go at that " ; "I should say at a guess," 
etc. " Come with me " ; " write with a pen " ; " he came with a 
rush " ; " things are different with us " ; " with a twinkle in his 
eye " ; " with God all things are possible," etc. Try to turn these 
phrases into any language you think you know; the odds are that you 
will find yourself " up against it pretty badly." The fact is, that 


prepositions are very frequently used on no logical plan, not at all 
according to any fixed or universal meaning ; all that can be said 
about them in a given phrase is that they are used there because 
they are used. To remember their equivalents in other languages 
hard memory work and much phrase-learning is necessary. In 
Esperanto all that is necessary is : first, to become clear as to the 
exact meaning ; secondly, to pick the preposition that conveys it. 
There is no doubt, as the Esperanto prepositions are fixed in 
sense, on the " one word one meaning " plan. The point is, that 
there is no memory searching, often so utterly vain, for there are 
few people indeed who can write a few pages of the most familiar 
foreign languages without getting their prepositions all wrong, 
and having " foreigner " stamped large all across their efforts. In 
Esperanto, provided you have a clear mind and know your 
grammar, you are right. No arbitrary usage defeats your efforts 
and makes discouraging jargon of your literary attempts. 

This training in clear thought, the first requisite for all good 
writing, is surely sound practical pedagogics. By the time you 
can give up conscious word-building in Esperanto, and use words 
and phrases by rote, y9U have done enough bracing thinking to 
teach you caution in the use of the ready-made phrase and horror 
of the vague word. 

Fools make phrases, and wise men shun them. Here is a 
phrase-free language : need we shun it ? 



THE following tables are meant to give some idea of the number 
and variety of different ideas that can be expressed by a single 
Esperanto root, with the addition of affixes (prefixes and suffixes). 
By reading the English, French, and German columns downwards, 










bien portant 


mal- (opposite) 





ne (not) 
-ig (causative) 


to heal 

(un peu) souf- 







re- (again) 





-ig (becoming) 


to b6 conval- 

etre conval- 

sich erholen 



getting well 

en train de se 





(qui rend 






-ist (agent) 





-ej (place) 





-ul (character- 



un malade 

ein Kranker 






-ar (collective) 

mal - san - ul - 

hospital in- 

ensemble des 

Gesamtheit der 

(both sexes) 


all the men 
and women 

les malades 
et femmes 

die Kranken 
beider Ge- 

-in (feminine) 


a lady doctor 

un medecin 


-edz (married) 


a doctor's 

une femme de 

Frau des Arztes 






French ' 



to learn 



ig (causative) 


to teach 







ej (place) 





ant (pres. part.) 





;e- (of both 


pupils of both 

eleves des 
deux sexes 

Schiiler and 

ar (collective) 










in (feminine) 

lern - ej-an - 





estr (chief) 





ist (agent) 











-aj (concrete) 



matiere d'en- 




ensemble des 










mal- (opposite) 





-ig (causative) 


to stimulate 

mettre en 





das Unter- 






the reader will see how many different roots and periphrases 
these languages employ in order to express the same ideas. 

As the affixes have fixed meanings, they only have to be 
learnt once for all, and many of them (e.g. -tst, -in, re-) are 
already familiar. When once acquired, they can be used in 
unending permutation and combination with different roots and 
each other. The tables below are by no means exhaustive of 
what can be done with the roots san- and lern-. They are merely 
illustrative. By referring to the full table of affixes on pp. 191-2, 
the reader can go on forming new compounds ad libitum : e.g. 
san-o, san-a, san-e, san-i, saneco, sanilo, sanulo, malsane, malsani, 
saneti, malsaneti, sanadi, eksani, eksanigi, saninda, sanindi, 
sanindulo, sanajo, sanajero, sanilo, sanigilo, sanigilejo, sanigilujo, 
sanigilisto, malsanemeco, remalsano, remalsanigo, sanila, mal- 
sanulino, sanistinedzo, sanijingo, sanigestro, sanigestrino, sanigema, 
sanega, sanigega, gesanantoj, sanigontoj, sanigistido, sanigejano 
. . . and so on (kaj tiel plu). 


The following table (see p. 160) illustrates the perfect simplicity 
and terseness of the Esperanto verb. 

Every tense, active and passive, is formed with never more 
than two words. Every shade of meaning (continued, potential, 
etc., action) is expressed by these two words, of which one is 
the single auxiliary esti (itself conjugated regularly). The double 
auxiliary "to be "and "to have" which infests most modern 
languages, with all its train of confusing and often illogical dis- 
tinctions (cf. French je suis altt, but fai couru), disappears. 
Contrast the simplicity of amota with the cumbersome periphrasis 
about to be loved", or the perfect ease and clearness of vi estus amita 
with the treble-barrelled German Sie wiirden geliebt warden sein. 

This simplicity of the Esperanto verb is entirely due to its 
full participial system. There are six participles, present, past, 
and future active and passive, each complete in one word. The 


only natural Aryan language (of those commonly studied) that 
compares with Esperanto in this respect is Greek ; and it is 
precisely the fulness of the Greek participial system that lends to 
the language a great part of that flexibility which all ages have 
agreed in admiring in it pre-eminently. Take a page of Plato or 
any other Greek author, and count the number of participles 
and note their use. They will be found more numerous and 
more delicately effective than in other languages. Esperanto can 
do all this ; and it can do it without any of the complexity of 
form and irregularity that makes the learning of Greek verbs 
such a hard task. Bearing in mind the three characteristic 
vowels of the three tenses present -a, past -z, future -o (common 
to finite tenses and participles) the proverbial schoolboy, and 
the dullest at that, could hardly make the learning of the 
Esperanto participles last him half an hour. 

It would be easy to go on filling page after page with the 
simplifications effected by Esperanto, but these will not fail to 
strike the learner after a very brief acquaintance with the 
language. But attention ought to be drawn to one more 
particularly clever device the form of asking questions. An 
Esperanto statement is converted into a question without any 
inversion of subject and verb or any change at all, except the 
addition of the interrogative particle Zu. In this Esperanto 
agrees with Japanese. But whereas Japanese adds its particle ka 
at the end of the sentence, the Esperanto cu stands first in its 
clause. Thus when, speaking Esperanto, you wish to ask a 
question, you begin by shouting out cu, an admirably distinctive 
monosyllable which cannot be confused with any other word in 
the language. By this means you get your interlocutor prepared 
and attending, and you can then frame your question at leisure. 

Contrast Esperanto and English in the ease with which they 
respectively convert a statement into a question. 

English : You went did you go ? 

Esperanto : Vi iris cu vi iris ? 



xi '~ 
cu cu 






















S c 

~ cu 
































irden fortgegangen 



bfl - x! 







t-i r O 
as >-. 






: i -g 





cu cu 















.22 m 















.G 'o3 


G ^ 

>; o 






















<~* CU 

^ 2 

cu 13 

ous aurons airr 
















aurais aime . 










s s'en seraient 


o3 13 




i . 






> > 































G 13 
c3 X) 
XI 03 














1 1 
































t t 




O 13 

3 ^-i 














































CX o3 

03 d 















-1 1 
1 1 

































This particle may be considered the equivalent of the initial 
mark of interrogation used in Spanish, and serves to remove all 
complications in connexion with word order. 

This chapter on labour-saving may fitly conclude with an 
estimate of the amount of mere memorizing work to be done 
in Esperanto. Since this is almost nil for grammar, syntax, 
and idiom, and since there are no irregularities or exceptions, 
the memory work is, broadly speaking, reduced to learning the 
affixes, the table of correlatives, and a certain number of new 
roots. This number is astonishingly small. Here is an estimate 
made by Prof. Macloskie, of Princeton, U.S.A. : 

Number of roots new to an English boy without Latin, about 600* 
with 300 

a college teacher . . . 100 



TECHNICALLY speaking, Esperanto combines the characteristics 
of an inflected language with those of an agglutinative one. This 
means that the syllables used as inflexions (-0, -a, -e, -as, -is, 
-as, -ant-, -int-, -ont-, etc.), being invariable and of universal 
application, can also be regarded as separate words. And as 
separate words they all figure in the dictionary, under their 
initial letters. Thus anything written in Esperanto can be 
deciphered by the simple process of looking out words and parts 
of words in the dictionary. For examples, see pieces i and 2 in 
the specimens of Esperanto, pp. 167-8, and read the Note at the 
beginning of Part IV. As the Esperanto dictionary only consists 

* i.e. about one-third of the whole number in the Fundamento. 



of a few pages, it can be easily carried in the pocket-book or 
waistcoat pocket. 

Thus, while to the educated person of Aryan speech Esperanto 
presents the natural appearance of an ordinary inflected language, 
one who belongs by speech to another lingual family, or any 
one who has never heard of Esperanto, can regard every inflected 
word as a compound of invariable elements. By turning over 
very few pages he can determine the meaning and use of each 
element, and therefore, by putting them together, he can arrive 
at the sense of the compound word. e.g. lav'isfirio. Look 
out lav-, and you find " wash " ; look out -ist, and you find 
it expresses the person who does an action ; look out -in, and 
you find it expresses the feminine ; look out -<?, and you find 
it denotes a noun. Put the whole together, and you get " female 
who does washing, laundress." 

Suppose you are going on an ocean voyage, and you expect 
to be shut up for weeks in a ship with persons of many 
nationalities. You take with you keys to Esperanto, price 
one halfpenny each, in various languages. You wish to tackle 
a Russian. Write your Esperanto sentence clearly and put the 
paper in his hand. At the same time hand him a Russian 
key to Esperanto, pointing to the following paragraph (in Russian) 
on the outside : 

" Everything written in the international language can be 
translated by the help of this vocabulary. If several words 
together express but a single idea, they are written in one word, 
but separated by apostrophes ; e.g. fratin'o, though a single idea, 
is yet composed of three words, which must be looked for 
separately in the vocabulary." 

After he has got over his shock of surprise, your Russian, 
if a man of ordinary education, will make out your sentence 
in a very short time by using the key. 

As an example Dr. Zamenhof gives the following sentence: 
'Mi ne sci'as kie mi las'is la baston'o'n: cu vi gi'n ne vid'is?" 
With the vocabulary this sentence will work out as follows : 


Mi mi = I I 

ne ne = not not 

<ww /^ = know ) 

sa as i e r do know 

(as = sign of present tense ) 

kie kie = where where 

mi mi = I I 

, , . (las leave ) 

(is - sign of past tense 
/a /a = the the 

{baston = stick "j 

= sign of a noun I stick 

= sign of objective case J 
cu "cu = whether, sign of question whether 

vi vi = you you 

#'* (& ~ Jt 

l = sign of objective case 

<? ne = not not 

(vid=* see ) . 

tw - sign of past tense I ha ve S een? 

It is obvious that no natural language can be used in the same 
way as a code to be deciphered with a small key. 

































habe : 

property : 



to have 



she, they, you, 












If your Russian wishes to reply, hand him a Russian- 
Esperanto vocabulary, pointing to the following paragraph on 
the outside : 

" To express anything by means of this vocabulary, in the 
international language, look for the words required in the 
vocabulary itself; and for the terminations necessary to distin- 
guish the grammatical forms, look in the grammatical appendix, 
under the respective headings of the parts of speech which you 
desire to express." 

The whole of the grammatical structure is explained in a few 
lines in this appendix, so the grammar can be looked out as 
easily as the root words. 




THE best way of learning Esperanto is to begin at once to 
read the language. Do not trouble to learn the grammar and 
list of suffixes by themselves first. All this can be picked 
up easily in the course of reading. 

In the following specimens the first two pieces are marked 
for beginners. Each part of a word marked off by hyphens 
is to be looked out separately in the vocabulary. By the 
time the beginner has read these two pieces carefully in this 
way he will know the grammar, and have a fair idea of the 
structure of the language and the use of affixes. 

In order to save time in looking out words, and so quicken 
the process of learning, the English translation of the third 
piece is given in parallel columns. Therefore in this piece 
only the principal words, which might be unfamiliar to English 
readers, are given in the vocabulary. Word-formation and some 
points of grammar are explained in the notes. 

To get a practical grasp of Esperanto, cover the left-hand 
(Esperanto) column with a piece of paper after reading it, and 
re-translate the English into Esperanto, using the notes. After 
half an hour per day of such exercise for two or three weeks, 
an ordinary educated person will know Esperanto pretty well. 

N.B. It is very important to acquire a correct pronunciation 
at the start. Study the pronunciation rules, and practise 
reading aloud before beginning to translate. Read slmvly. 






THERE are no long and short, open and closed, vowels : just 
five simple, full-sounding vowels, always pronounced the same. 
English people must be particularly careful to make them 
sufficiently full. 

a as a in Engl. "father." 

e W "they." 

* ee "eel." 

o o " hole," inclining to o in Engl. "more." (English 
speakers find it hard to pronounce a true <?.) 

u oo "moon." 
In short, the vowels are as in Italian. 


aj as eye in Engl. "eye." 
oj oy "boy." 
au ow "cow." 
(eu e...w " gt a/et " : this sound does not often occur.) 


These are pronounced as in English, except the following : 
c as is in Engl. " bits." 
c ch "church." 
g g . "give." 
g g "gentle." 
h ch Scotch " loch," or German " ich." 
J y Engl. " yes." 
j s "pleasure." 
s sh " shilling." 
ii w ,, " cow " (only occurs in the diphthongs au and eu). 


Always upon the last syllable but one. 


The first few lines of piece i in the following specimens may 
be thus figured for English readers : 

Gayseenyoroy mee noon deeros ahl vee kaylkine vdrtoyn 
Ayspayrahntay. Mee kraydahs kay vee 6wdos, kay Ayspayrahnto 
aystahs tray fahtseelah ki bayls6nah le"engvo. 

N.B. The precise sound of e is between a in "bale" and c 
in " bell" 




GE-SINJOR-O-J mi nun dir-os al vi kelk-a-j-n vort-o-j n Esperant-e. 
Mi kred-as ke vi aud-os, ke Esperant-o est-as tre facil-a kaj 
bel-son-a lingv-o. Ver-e, gi est-as tiel facil-a, sonor-a kaj simpl-a, 
ke oni tut-e ne hav-as mal-facil-ec-o-n por lern-i gi-n. La 
lern-ant-o-j pov-as ordinar-e kompren-i, leg-i, skrib-i kaj parol-i 
gin en tre mal-long-a temp-o. La fakt-o ke Esperant-o en-hav-as 
tre mal-mult-a-j-n, vokal-a-j-n son-o-j-n, kaj ke la vokal-o-j est-as 
ciu-j long-a-j kaj plen-son-a-j, est-ig-as gin mult-e pli facil-a ol la 
ali-a-j lingv-o-j, cu por attd-i, cu por el-parol-i. 

Mi kred-as ke mal-long-a lern-ad-o est-os sufic-a por vi-n 
kompren-ig-i, ke la hom-o-j de ciu-j naci-o-j pov-as inter-parol-i 
Esperant-e sen mal-facil-ec-o. 

Mi ne de-ten-os vi-n pli long-e. Fin-ant-e, mi las-os kun vi 
du fraz-et-o-j-n : unu-e, por la ideal-ist-o-j, kiu-j cel-as unu 
frat-ec-o-n inter la popol-o-j de ciu land-o, la Esperant-a-n 
deviz-o-n " Dum ni spir-as ni esper-as " : du-e, por la hom-o-j 
praktik-a-j la praktik-a-n konsil-o-n " Lern-u Esperant-o-n." 



Cirkau grand-a mez-ter-a mar-o viv-is mult-a-j popol-o-j. Hi 
hav-is mult-a-n inter-a-n komerc-o-n. Oar la mar-o est-is oft-e 
mal-trankvil-a kaj ili hav-is nur mal-grand-a-j-n sip-o-j-n, ili vetur-is 
lau-long-e la mar-bord-o, neniam perd-ant-e la ter-o-n el la vid-o. 

Cert-a hom-o el-pens-is sip-o-n, kiu ir-is per vapor-o. Li dir-is 
al la mar-bord-ist-o-j : "Jen, ni met-u ni-a-n mon-o-n kun-e, kaj 
ni konstru-u grand-a-j-n vapor-sip-o-j-n. Tiel ni vetur-os rekt-e 
trans la mar-o unu al ali-a-n; kaj ni far-os pli da komerc-o en 
mal-pli da temp-o." Sed la mar-bord-ist-o-j pli-am-is cirkau-ir-i 
en mal-grand-a-j sip-o-j, kiel ili kutim-is. La el-pens-int-o ne 
hav-is sufic-e da mon-o por konstru-i grand-a-n vapor-sip-o-n, kiu 
tre mult-e en-hav-os kaj tre rapid-e vojag-os ; tial li dev-is vetur-ad-i 
en si-a mez-grand-a vapor-sip-o, kiu tamen almenau rekt-e ir-is 
cie-n. Sed la mar-bord-ist-o-j daur-ig-is rem-i kaj vel-i cirkau-e. 



Malproksime, en nekonata Far 2 away, in an unknown 3 

lando,vivissovagagento. Ililo- land, there lived a savage race, 

gisenlamezodevastaebenajo, They dwelt in the midst of a 

izolata de la ekstera mondo. vast plain, 4 cut off from the outer 8 

Unuflanken homo dek tagojn world. Towards one side 6 a man 

1 Unwise. Wise = saga ; ne = not. 

2 Far. Near = proksim-e (e = adverbial ending). To be near = proksimi. 
Mai- is a prefix denoting the opposite. 

3 Unknown. To know = koni. Pres. part. pass. -at-. Negative = ne. 
(bona = good ; malbona = bad ; nebona = not good. ) 

4 Plain. Flat = eben-a. a} is a suffix denoting something made from or 
possessing the quality of. 

5 Outer. Outside (preposition) = ekster. a denotes an adjective. 

6 Towards one side. Side * flank-o. e denotes an adverb ; flanke = 
" sidely," i.e. at the side. denotes motion towards. 



vojagante venus al montegaro : 
aliflanke staris granda lago 
kaj senlimaj marcoj. Tiel oni 
vivadis trankvile lau patra 
kutimo, tute senzorga pri la 
ago kaj faro de aliaj hom- 
gentoj transmontanaj. En 
somero estis varmege, kaj ciu 
vintro sajnis pli malvarma ol 
la antaua ; sed la tero estis 
fruktodona, gi donis al ili 
sufice da greno por mangi, kaj 
la riveroj kaj riveretoj plene 
provizis puran trinkajon. 

Tiel ili vivadis ne malfelice, 
kaj ilia vivo estis la vivo de 
la prapatroj, car ili ne sciis 
kiel gin plibonigi. Sed man- 

journeying 1 ten days 2 would 
come to a big mountain-range 3 ; 
on the other side stood a great 
lake and boundless 4 swamps. 
Thus 5 they lived 6 quietly after 
the manner of their fathers, caring 
nothing 7 for the way of life 8 of 
other men beyond the hills. In 
summer it was very hot, 9 and 
every winter seemed colder than 
the last ; but the earth was fertile, 
it gave them enough corn 10 to 
eat, and the streams and rivers 
furnished abundance of pure 
water to drink. 11 

Thus they lived not unhappily, 
and their life was the life of 
their forefathers, for they knew 
not how to better 13 it. But in their 

1 Journeying. This participial phrase qualifies the verb, venus, like an 
adverb. In Esperanto the participle therefore takes an e, which denotes an 

2 Ten days, i.e. for the duration of ten days. Duration of time is put in 
the accusative case. 

* Big mountain-range. Mountain = mont-o. eg is a suffix denoting bigness ; 
ar is a suffix denoting a collection. 

4 Boundless. Limit = lim-o. Without = sen. 

s Thus. See p. 193 for correlatives. 

" They lived. To live = viv-i. ad is a suffix denoting continued action. 

7 Caring nothing. Care =- zorg-o. Sen without, a denotes an adjective. 

8 Way of life. Lit. the acting and doing. 

' It was very hot. In such impersonal uses of the adjective, the adverbial 
form is used. 

' Enough corn, da is used after words of quantity. Sufitan grtno* would 
also be right. 

11 Water to drink. Lit. drink -stuff, or drink-thing. 

12 Better. Good bon-a ; better pli bona ; suf. -fg is causative. 



kis en ilia lando unu ajo, kaj 
pro tiu ci manko ili multe 
suferis : en la tuta lando 
ceestis nenia sirmilo, cu kon- 
trau la suno en somero, cu 
por forteni la vintrajn ventojn. 
Ciuflanke la tero estis plata ; 
kaj kvankam la greno kaj 
ciuspecaj legomoj kreskis 
bone, arboj estis nekonataj. 
EC la malproksima montaro 
staris tutnuda ; kaj kiam la 
ventoj blovis forte el giaj 
negoj, la mizeruloj tremetis 
pro malvarmeco, kaj ne povis 
ec en siaj dometoj komfortigi, 
car la penetranta enfluo de 
malvarma aero stele eniris gis 
la familian kamenon. 

Nu okazis ke certa knabo, 
pensema preter siaj jaroj, 

land one thing 1 was lacking, and 
for 2 lack of this they suffered 
greatly : there was 3 no shelter 4 
in all the land, whether against 
the sun in summer, or to keep 
off 5 the winter winds. On every 
side the ground was flat ; and 
although corn and all kinds of 6 
vegetables grew well, trees were 
unknown. Even the distant 
mountains stood all bare ; and 
when the winds blew strong from 
amidst their 7 snows, the poor folk 
shivered for cold, and could not 
get comfortable 8 even in their 
cottages, for the penetrating 
draught of the cold air crept 9 
right in to the family fireside. 

Now, it happened that a certain 
boy, thoughtful 10 beyond his years, 

1 One thing. The concrete suffix -a) by itself may be used to express 
" thing." Of course it takes the substantival ending o. 

2 For lack. Esperanto is absolutely precise in the use of prepositions 
according to sense. No idiom. In this it differs from all other languages. 
Here " for* " means " by reason of." 

* There was. Est-i = to be ; ie = at ; teesti = to be present. 

4 Shelter. To shelter = sirm-i ; il is a suffix expressing instrument. 

5 Keep off. To hold = ten-i ; away = for. 

6 All kinds of. Kind = spec-o ; all = tiu. a is adj ectival ending. 

7 Their snows. Whose snows ? The mountains'. Therefore giaj, referring 
to montaro. If " their " referred to " winds," it would be siaj. 

* Get comfortable. Comfort(able) - komfort-o (a); suf. ig denotes 

* Crept in. To steal =- "Stel-i; -e makes it an adverb. 

10 Thoughtful. To think = pens-i ; suf. -em denotes propensity. 



komencis pripensi tiun ci 
mizeran staton. Li vivis kun 
sia vidvina patrino, kiu havis 
du infanetojn krom Namezo 
(tiel nomigis la knabo). Hi 
estis tre malricaj, kaj devis 
sencese labori por nutri sin 
mem kaj la infanojn. La 
vidvino ne havis pli ol kvardek 
jarojn, sed Namezo rimarkis 
ke vespere, post la taga laboro, 
si sajnis tute lacega, kaj 
kelkajn jarojn post la morto 
de sia edzo si ekmaljunigis. 
Ofte la knabo diris al si, ke si 
devus pli ripozi, sed ciumatene 
post la nokto si havis mienon 
tiel same lacegan kiel vespere ; 
kaj si plendis ke la trablovaj 
ventoj suferigis sin nokte 
per reumatismaj doloroj, kaj 
somere si ne povis dormi pro 
varmeco. Tiam la knabo 
turnis la okulojn ekster sia 

began to think over this wretched 
state of things. He lived with 
his 1 widowed mother, who had 
two little children besides Namezo 
(this was the lad's name 2 ). They 
were very poor, and were obliged 
to work hard without stopping to 
get food for themselves and the 
children. The widow was not 
more than forty, but Namezo 
noticed that of an evening, after 
the day's work, she seemed quite 
tired out, 3 and a few years * after 
her husband's death she grew old 
all at once. 5 Often the boy told 
her she ought to take more rest, 
but every morning 6 she had the 
same worn-out look as in the 
evening ; and she complained 
that the winds blowing through 
of a night plagued 7 her with 8 
rheumatic pains, and in summer 
she could not sleep because of 
the heat. Then the boy turned 

1 With his widowed mother, i.e. his own = sia. 

2 This was his name. To name = nom-i ; with suf. -ig = to get named, 
to be called. 

* Tired out. Tired - lac-a ; suf. -eg denotes intensity. 
4 A few years. Accusative of time. 

* She grew old all at once. Young =jun-a ; old = maljuna ; suf. / 
denotes becoming ; prefix ek- denotes beginning, or sudden action. 

' Every morning = tiumatene. " The whole morning " would be la tutan 

7 Plagued. To suffer = sujer-i ; suf. -ig is causative ; suferigi = to cause to 

8 With . . . pains. Think of the sense. " With " =- by means of. 

1 7 2 


hejmo kaj rigardis cirkauen. 
Li vidis ke ciuflanke estis tiel 
same : la geviroj frue mal- 
junigis kaj multe suferis. Li 
pensis, " Baldau estos al mi 
ankau simile ; la juneco estas 
mallonga kaj labora, kaj la 
vivo estas longa kaj cagrena." 
Fine li malgajadis. 

Vintro forpasis, somero al- 
venis. Unu nokton la knabo 
estis kusanta en sia lito : li 
estis laboreginta en la kampoj, 
kaj estis tre laca, sed ju pli li 
penis ekdormi,des pli liobstine 
vekigadis. La tutan fajran 
tagon la suno estis malsupren 
brilinta sur la tegmenton de 
la dometo, tiel ke la kusejo 
nun similis fornon. Namezo 
pensis kaj turnigis, returnigis 
kaj repensis ; la samaj pensoj, 
ciam ronde revenantaj, igis 
turmento. Fine li ekdormetis, 

his eyes outwards from his home 
and looked around him. He saw 
that on every side it was the 
same l : men and women 2 grew 
old early and suffered much. He 
thought, "Soon it will be the 
same with me ; youth 3 is short 
and full of work, and life is long 
and full of trouble." At last he 
became gloomy altogether. 4 

Winter passed away, summer 
came on. One night the boy 
was lying in his bed : he had 
been working hard 5 in the fields, 
and was very tired, but the more 
he tried to go to sleep 6 the wider 
awake he grew. All through the 
long fiery day the sun had been 
beating down 7 on the roof of the 
cottage, so that the sleeping- 
place 8 was now like an oven. 
Namezo thought and tossed, 
tossed and thought again ; the 
same thoughts, always coming 
round in a circle, became 9 a 

1 It was the same. Impersonal : use the adverbial form in -e. 

2 Men and women. Pref. ge- denotes both sexes. 

* Youth. Young =jun-a ; suf. -ec denotes abstract. 

4 Became gloomy altogether. Gay = gaj-a ; gloomy = malgaja ; suf. -ad 
denotes continuance. 

4 He had been working hard. Pluperfect, lit. he was having worked. 
Suf. -eg denotes intensity. 

6 To go to sleep. To sleep = dorm-i ; pref. ek- denotes beginning. 

7 Down. Above = supr-e ; below = malsupre ', n denotes motion. 

8 Sleeping-place. To lie = ku's-i ; suf. -ej denotes place. 

9 Became. Suf. -ig denotes becoming ; here used as a separate verb. 



sed la konfuzigaj pensoj, ciam 
la pensoj, ruladis ec en lia 
dormo senkompate tra lia 

Subite ekfalis sur lin granda 
paco. Li sajnis stari sur 
monta pinto. Laceco kaj 
zorgo ne estis plu. Cirkaue 
vasta soleco. Li kaj la monto 
krom tio ekzistis nenio, kaj 
li estis kontenta. 

Al li, tiel lukse enspiranta 
la fresan aeron, alvenis fluge 
blanka birdo. Gi aperis, li 
ne sciis kiel, el la cirkauanta 
soleco, kaj metigis apud li 
sur la montan pinton. Gi 
komencis paroli, kaj en lia 
songo tio ci neniel lin sur- 

" Homa knabo," diris la 

torture. At length he fell into 
a light sleep, 1 but the distracting J 
thoughts, always the thoughts, 
kept rolling 3 through his brain 
pitilessly, even in his sleep. 

All at once a great peace fell 
upon him. He seemed to be 
standing on a mountain-peak. 
Weariness 4 and care were no 
more. Around vast solitude. 
He and the mountain there was 
nought else, and he was glad. 

While he thus breathed in the 
fresh air with delight, a white bird 
came flying. 6 It appeared, he 
knew not how, out of the sur- 
rounding solitude, 6 and came and 
perched 7 beside him on the 
mountain-top. It began to speak, 
and in his dream this 8 in no 
way 9 astonished him. 

" Mortal 10 boy," said the bird, 

1 Fell into a light sleep. To sleep = dorm-i ; suf. -et denotes light sleep ; 
pref. ek- denotes beginning. 

2 Distracting. Confused = konfuz-a ; suf. -ig denotes causation, confusion- 

8 Kept rolling. To roll = rul-i ; suf. -ad denotes continuance. 
4 Weariness. Tired = lac-a ; suf. -ec denotes abstract. 

6 Came flying. To fly =fiug-i\ root fiug- with adverbial ending -* * 

8 Solitude. Alone = sol-a ; suf. -ec denotes abstract. 

7 Came and perched. The idea of motion is conveyed by the accusative 
(-) pinton. 

* This. Use neuter form in -o t because it stands alone. " This dream " 
= tiu ti songo, 

8 In no way. See table of correlatives, p. 193. 

10 Mortal. Man hom-o ; ending -a makes it an adj. 



birdo, faligante en Han manon 
semon el sia beko, "prenu 
tiun ci semon : metu gin en la 
teron : prizorgu gin, flegu gin, 
kaj flegadu gin. Post tempo 
plenigota levigos el tiu ci semo 
kreskajo tia, kian la viaj gis 
nun ne vidis. La aliaj homoj 
nomas gin arbon. Gi estos 
granda ; kaj en la venontaj 
jaroj, se oni deve gin flegos, 
naskigos el gi arbaroj, kiuj 
estos sirmilo por la homaro, 
kaj por multaj aliaj celoj 
utilos. Sed flegi gin oni 
devos, car sen homa penado 
nenio al homoj prosperas." 

Namezo volis respondi, sed 
dum li levis la manon por 
rigardi la semon, estis al li 
kvazau li turnigis, la kapo mal- 
supren : la monto malaperis, 
kaj li falis . . . falis . . . falis. . . . 

Tiam li estis denove veka 
en la forna dometo, sed li 

dropping 1 a seed into his hand 
from its beak, " take this seed : 
put it in the ground : care for it, 
tend it, and keep tending it. In 
the fulness of time there will rise 2 
from this seed such 4 a growth * 
as * your people B never yet saw. 
Other peoples call it a tree. It 
will be big ; and in future 6 
years, if it is duly tended, there 
will spring from it groves, 7 
which will give shelter to men 
and women, and will be useful 
for many other ends. But tended 
it must be, for without man's 
striving nothing turns out well for 

Namezo was about to reply, 
but as he raised his hand to look 
at the seed, he seemed to turn 8 
head downwards : the mountain 
disappeared, 9 and he fell . . . 
fell . . . fell. . . . 

Then he was awake again in 
the oven-like 10 hut, but he could 

1 Dropping. To fall = fal-i ; suf. -^denotes causing to fall. 

2 Rise. To raise = lev-i ; suf. -ig makes it intransitive. 

s A growth. To grow = kreski ; ' ' grow-thing " kresk-aj-o. 
4 Such ... as. Tia . . . kia ( = Latin talis . . . qiuilis). See table of 
correlatives, p. 193. 

* Your people. You = vi ; -a makes it an adj. 

6 Future. Future participle active of ven-i = about to come. 

7 Groves. Tree = arb-o ; suf. -ar denotes a collection of trees. 

8 To turn. Turn-i is transitive ; suf. -ig makes it intransitive. 

8 Disappeared. To appear = aper-i ; pref. mal- denotes opposite. 
10 Oven-like. Oven = forn-o ; ending -a makes it an adjective. 


ne povis sin malhelpi, rigardi 
sian manon, por vidi cu la 
semo enestis. Semo neestis : 
kaj la pensoj rekomencis 
ruladi tra lia cerbo tamen 
ne plu la antauaj turmentigaj 
pensoj, sed novaj esperplenaj 
pensoj, car li kredis, pasie 
kredis, ke estas ja ia verajo 
en lia songo. 

Kaj nun la morgaua tago 
eklumigis. Li levigis kaj iris 
al sia laboro, kaj tiun ci tagon 
kaj multajn sekvantajn tagojn 
li laboradis kiel kutime, paro- 
lante al neniu pri la sema 

Sed kiam la tempo de rikolto 
forpasis, li acetis dudektagan 
nutrajon kaj donis al la patrino 
sian restan sparajon el la 
rikolta tempo (car vi scias, 
ke en la sezono de rikolto 
bona laboristo gajnas pli ol 

not refrain * from 2 looking at his 
hand, to see if the seed was in 
it. There was no seed ; and the 
thoughts began to roll through 
his brain again yet no longer 
the old 3 worrying thoughts, but 
new thoughts full of hope, for he 
believed, passionately believed, 
that there was indeed some truth 4 
in his dream. 

And now the new day began 
to dawn. He got up and went 
about his work, and this day and 
many succeeding days he went 
on working as usual, speaking to 
no one about his dream of the 

But when harvest-time was 
over, he bought food 6 enough 
for twenty days and gave his 
mother the rest 6 of his harvest- 
tide savings 7 (for you know that 
in the harvest season a good 
workman 8 earns more than at 

1 Refrain. To help = help-i; to hinder = malhelpi ; to hinder himself 
malhelpi sin. 

2 Refrain from looking. In Esperanto use the simplest construction possible, 
as long as it is clear. The simple infinitive rigardi is clear after malhelpi sin. 

8 The old thoughts. Before = antaii ; ending -a makes it an adjective. 
4 Truth. Think of the sense. Here truth = " true-thing," so use suf. -a}. 
"Truth" = abstract virtue - vereco. 

* Food. To feed = nutr-i ; suf. -a) denotes stuff. 

The rest of. The rest = rest-o ; ending -a makes it an adjective 

7 Savings. To save up = spar-i\ tyar-a)-o = save-thing (i.e. savf thing). 

Workman. To work = lakor-i ; suf. -itt denotes the agent. 


alitempe), dirante ke li devos 
vojagi, kaj forestos dudek 
tagojn. La patrino miregis, 
car neniam antaiie li estis 
lasinta sin ec unu tagon; sed 
li estis bona filo, kaj si kon- 
traustaris lin en nenio. 

Li forvojagis do, kaj post 
kvin tagoj li ekvidis malprok- 
sime sur la horizonto blankan 
nubon, kiu dum la morgaua 
tago montrigis kiel monta 
pinto. Namezo salutis gin, 
kaj de tiu momento, sen ia 
dubo, direktis sian iron tra la 
ebenajo ciam al gi. 

Kiara li alvenis piedon de 
la montoj, la deka tago jam 
finigis. Efektive li estis grave 
trompiginta pri la distanco. 
Neniam antaiie lividis monton, 
kaj tial, kiam li ekvidis la 
pinton meze de la vojago, li 
kredis ke li jus alvenas, kaj 

other times), saying that he must 1 
go on a journey, and would l 
be away for twenty days. His 
mother wondered greatly, for he 
had never left 2 her before even 
for a single day ; but he was a 
good son to her, and she did not 
thwart him in anything. 

So he journeyed forth, and in 
five days he began to see far off 
on the horizon a white cloud, 
which turned out 3 in the course 
of the next day to be a mountain- 
peak. Namezo saluted it, and 
from that moment, without any 
doubt, bent his course * across 
the plain constantly towards it. 

When he came to the foot 6 of 
the mountains, the tenth 6 day 
was already drawing to an end. 
Indeed, Namezo had been greatly 
mistaken 7 in the distance. He 
had never seen a mountain before, 
and so, when he caught sight of 
the peak half-way, he thought he 

1 He must go ... and would be away. Esperanto syntax is perfectly 
simple. Just use the tense which the speaker would use, here the future ; or 
any tense, so long as the meaning is clear. 

* He had left. Pluperfect = "he was having left," esti with past part. 
active. Li estis lasita would mean "he had been left." 

3 Turned out to be. To show = montr-i ; with suf. -ig> montrig-i to 
show itself, to become shown. 

4 His course. To go ir-i ; ending -o makes it a substantive = a going. 
4 To the foot. Motion ; use the - case. 

8 Tenth. Ten = dek ; to form the ordinal numbers add -a to the cardinal. 
7 Mistaken. To deceive = tromp-i ; suf. -ig makes it intransitive. 



marsis pli malrapide. Tri 
tagojn li pensis ciumatene, 
" Mi estos hodiau vespere ce 
la montpiedo ; morgau mi 
suprenrampos gis la pinton." 
Sed nun li sciis, ke li estas 
malfrua. Li formangis jam 
la duonon de sia provizajo, 
kaj dum la lastaj mejloj li 
ekvidis ke Ha pinto estas parto 
de vasta senlima montegaro, 
ke gi ankorau malproksimas 
kaj li tute ne tiel facile supren- 
iros. Li kalkulis ke almenau 
oktaga nutrajo estos necesa 
por reiri hejmen de la piedo 
de la montaro, kaj tiom li tie 
enterigis por la returna vojago. 
Sekve restis nur dutaga 
mangajo por la suprena kaj 
malsuprena montiro. 

Tre frue do li ekiris la dek- 
unuan tagon, kaj penadis 
ciutage supren. Vespere li 
vidis ke li ankorau havas plen- 
an tagvojagon gis la pinton, 
kaj tiel li devos tre spareme 

was just getting there, and walked 
slower. For three days he thought 
every morning, " I shall be at 
the foot of the mountains this 
evening ; to-morrow I'll climb l 
to the top." But now he knew 
that he was late. 2 He had already 
eaten up half 3 of his provisions,* 
and for the last few miles he was 
beginning to see that his peak 
was part of a boundless mountain- 
range, that it was still far off and 
he would by no means get up 
so easily. He calculated that at 
least eight days' food would be 
needed to get home from the foot 
of the mountain-range, and he 
buried 5 that amount 6 there for 
the return journey. Thus only 
two days' provision was left for 
the ascent and descent of the 

Very early, then, on the 
eleventh 7 day he set out, and 
toiled the whole day upwards. 
In the evening he saw that he 
still had a full day's journey to 
the top, and so he must be very 

1 Climb. Supr-a, -e, -en = upper, above, upwards. 

* Late. Early =fru-a ; pref. mal- denotes opposite. 

8 Half. Two = du ; suf. -on denotes fractions, cf. kvarono = quarter. 

4 Provisions. Provide-stuff (i.e. provid<rrf stuff). 

5 Buried. Earth = ter-o ; in = en; suf. -ig denotes causing to be. 
8 That amount. Tiom. See the table of correlatives, p. 193. 

7 Eleven = dek-unu ; add -a to make the ordinal. 20 - dudek. 


i 7 8 


uzi sian restan provizajon. 
La dekdua tago estis tre 
doloriga. La monto farigis 
kruta ; li devis rapidi ; kaj li 
terure malsatis pro ekman- 
kanta mangajo. Malgraii cio 
li alvenis montpinton je la 
noktigo. La subita ekscito, 
kune kun la laceco kaj mal- 
sato, estis tro : en la momenta 
de sukceso li falis en sveno 
sur la teron. 

Jen,dum likusis senkonscie, 
aperis la duan fojon la sama 
vidajo. Birdo blanka alflugis, 
metis en lian manon semon, 
kaj diris la samajn vortojn. 
Denove li levis la manon, kaj 
denove li sajnis renversigi, kaj 
falis . . . falis . . . falis. . . . 

Rekonsciiginte, li trovis sin 
kusanta trankvile apud la loko 
mem, kie li enterigis sian re- 
turnan provizajon antau la 
supreniro. Li kusis sur dolca 

sparing l in the use of his remain- 
ing stores. The twelfth day was 
very painful. 2 The mountain 
grew s steep ; he had to press on ; 
and he was terribly hungry, 4 as 
the food was beginning to give 
out. In spite of all, he reached 
the top at nightfall. 5 The sudden 
excitement, with his weariness 
and hunger, was too much : in 
the moment of success he fell to 
the ground in a swoon. 

And lo ! as he lay unconscious, 
there appeared to him for the 
second time the same vision. 6 A 
white bird flew up, put a seed 
into his hand, and said the same 
words. Again he raised his 
hand, and again he seemed to 
turn over, and fell ... fell ... 
fell. . . . 

When he came to himself, 7 
he was lying quietly in the 
very place where he had buried 
his food for the home journey 
before the ascent. He was lying 

1 Sparing. To save = spar-i ; suf. -em denotes propensity. 

2 Painful. Pain = dolor-o ; suf. -ig denotes causation ; ending -a makes it 
an adjective. 

s Grew. To make =far-i ; suf. -ig denotes becoming made, growing. 

4 Hungry. Satisfied = sat-a ; pref. mal- denotes the opposite. To be 
hungry = mal-sat-i. 

5 Nightfall. Night = nokt-o ; suf. -ig denotes becoming. 

6 Vision. See(n)-thing ; vid-i = to see ; with suffix -a}. 

7 When he came to himself. Conscious = konsci-a ', prefix re- denotes back 
again ; suffix -ig denotes becoming. 



herbo, kaj sentis sin korpe 
tute mallacigata, kaj granda 
paco regis en lia animo. Tuj 
kiam li malfermis la okulojn, 
li rigardis en sian manon, kaj 
tiun ci fojon la semo enestis. 

Longa, labora kaj preskaii 
sennutra malsupreniro de la 
montpinto jam ne necesis, kaj 
la hejmvojago trans la ebenajo 
prosperis, tiel ke Namezo 
staris baldaii ree en la patrina 
dometo. La vilaganoj kun- 
venis amase kaj multe de- 
mandis pri lia vojago, car 
neniu el ili estis iam tiel 
malproksimen foririnta de la 
hejmo. Namezo cion rakontis, 
kaj montris la semon kiun li 
devos planti. La najbaroj 
komence kredis, ke li volas 
mirigi ilin, kiel la vojagistoj 
amas fari, kaj ili ridis pri liaj 
rakontajoj. Sed, kiam ili 
vidis ke li estis serioza, ili 
ekkolerigis kaj volis forpreni 
lian semon kaj detrui gin. 

' Free from tiredness. Tired 

on soft grass, and his body felt 
free from its tiredness, 1 and in 
his soul reigned a great peace. 
As soon as he opened 2 his eyes, 
he looked in his hand, and this 
time the seed was there. 

A long, laborious descent from 
the mountain-top almost without 
food was now no longer needful, 
and on the home journey across 
the plain all went well, so that 
Namezo soon stood again in his 
mother's 3 cottage. The villagers 
flocked in crowds* and asked 
many questions about his journey, 
for none of them had ever been 
so far from home. Namezo told 
them everything, and showed the 
seed which he was to plant. At 
first the neighbours thought he 
was trying to astonish * them, as 
travellers are wont to do, and 
they laughed at his tales. But 
when they saw that he was in 
earnest, they got in a rage, 6 and 
wanted to take away his seed and 
destroy it. " A ' tree ' is foolish- 

lac-a ; mal- denotes opposite ; -ig denotes 

causing to be. 

2 Opened. To shut ferm-i ; to open = malfermi. 

1 Mother's. Father = patr-o ; suf. -in denotes feminine ; ending -a makes 
it an adjective. 

4 In crowds. Crowd = amas-o ; ending -t makes it an adverb. 

8 Astonish. To wonder mir-i ; suf. -ig makes it transitive. 

Got in a rage. Anger - koltr-o ; pref. ek- denotes beginning ; uf. -tf 
denotes becoming. 



" ' Arbo ' estas sensencajo," 
ili diris ; " ne povas ekzisti 
alia kreskajo, krom la rikoltoj 
kaj la legomoj kiujn ni kaj 
niaj patroj jam ciam kreskigis. 
Estas neeble ke io alia kresku 
kaj igu pli granda." Kaj 
unuj diris ke li estas vana 
songisto, kaj aliaj ke li 
frenezas. Sed lia patrino 
kuragigis lin. 

Kaj Namezo timis por sia 
semo, kaj pripensis kiel li 
povos savi gin de la najbaroj 
kiam gi ekkreskos. Kaj li 
eliris el la vilago nokte, kaj 
plantis gin malproksime de 
ciuj domoj, apud rivereto en 
mallevigo de la tero, kie oni 
gin ne vidos gis gi estos tre 
granda. Kaj komence li iris 
tien nur nokte ; sed, car li ne 
parolis plu pri sia semo, la 
vilaganoj forgesis la aferon, 
tiel ke li povis eliri el la vilago 
vespere post sia taglaboro 
kiam li volis, kaj neniu zorgis 
pri tio, kien li iras. Sed li ne 
kuragis gin transplant! apud 

ness," 1 they said ; " no other 
plant can exist, except the crops 
and vegetables that we and our 
fathers have always grown. It is 
impossible for anything else to 
grow and become 2 bigger than 
they." And some said that he 
was an idle dreamer, and others 
that he was mad. But his 
mother encouraged him. 

And Namezo feared for his 
seed, and thought how he could 
save it from the neighbours when 
it began to grow up. And he 
went out of the village by night, 
and planted it far away from all 
the houses, by a little stream in 
a hollow 3 of the ground, where 
it would not be seen till it grew 
very big. And at first he went 
there only by night ; but, as he 
said no more about his seed, the 
villagers forgot the matter, so 
that he could go out of the 
village in the evenings after his 
day's work whenever he liked, 
and nobody troubled about where 
he was going.* But he did not 

1 Foolishness. Sense = senc-o ; without = sen; suf. -a) without-sense-stuff. 

2 Become. Suf. -ig is here used alone as a verb = to become. 

s A hollow. To raise = lev-i ; suf. -ig makes it intransitive ; pref. mal- 
denotes the opposite ; ending -o makes it a noun. 

4 Where he was going. "Where" here = "whither," therefore add -, 
which denotes motion. 



sian dometon, timante ke oni 
difektu gin au serce au malice, 
kaj sekve restis por li la 
granda laborado iri, kiam li 
estis jam laca, malproksimen 
por flegi gin. 

Jaroj forpasadis : Namezo 
grandigis, sed lia kreskajo ne 
volis grandigi. Multfoje li 
malesperis, vidante ke gi 
kvazau ne kreskadis plu, au 
ke gi en somero havis velkan 
mienon. Multajn vintrojn gi 
preskau mortis per frosto. 
Sed li persistis, kaj ciuokaze li 
provis ian novan flegon, car 
neniam antaue en la tuta lando 
oni kreskigis tielan plantajon. 
latempe li metis sterkon : 
tiam li subdrenis la teron, 
cirkauhakis la brancetojn, au 
sirmis la burgonojn kontrau la 
ventoj. Ree, vidante ke mal- 
graii cio la arbeto ne prosperis, 
li pretigis novan terajon kaj 
transplantis gin, antaue en- 
pluginte alispecan teron. Li 
eksperimentis per seka, poste 
per malseka, subtero : unu- 

dare to transplant it to his own 
cottage, fearing that they would 
damage it in jest or malice, and 
so the hard work remained for 
him of going a long way to look 
after it, when he was already tired. 
Years passed away : Namezo 
grew up, 1 but his plant would not 
grow up too. Many a time he 
despaired, 2 seeing that it seemed 
as though it had given up growing, 
or that it had a faded look in 
summer. Many winters it nearly 
died of the frosts. But he perse- 
vered, and in every case* he 
tried some new treatment, for 
never before in the whole land 
had any one grown 4 such a plant. 
At one time he would put on 
manure; then he tried draining 
the ground, pruning the shoots, or 
protecting the buds against the 
winds. Again, seeing that in 
spite of all the little tree did not 
flourish, he prepared 8 a new soil- 
bed and transplanted it, having 
first ploughed in a different kind 
of earth. He experimented with 
dry, and then with damp, sub-soil : 

1 Grew up. Big = grand-a ; suf. / denotes becoming. 

* Despaired. To hope = csper-i ; pref. ma/- denotes opposite. 

3 In every case. To happen okaz-i ; any or all fin ; ending < makes 
it adverbial = " any-happening-ly," i.e. whatever happened. 

4 Grown. To grow (intrans.) **kresk-i\ suf. -ig makes it transitive. 

Prepared. Ready - pret-a ; suf. -if =- to make ready. 



vorte, li sencese penadis, di- 
versigante konstante la kon- 
dicojn gis li guste trafos. 
Fine, kiam li jam de longe 
estis plenaga, lia deziro plenu- 
migis : tie, apud la rivereto 
staris granda belkreska arbo. 

En somero, kiam la folioj 
estis plenaj, li kondukis tien 
kelkajn amikojn, kaj ili gojis 
sidantaj vespere sub la fresa 
ombro. En autuno ili kolek- 
tis la semujojn, portis ilin en 
la vilagon, kaj penis decidigi 
la vilaganojn planti la semaron 
apud siaj dometoj, por havi 
sirmilon. Sed la vilaganoj ne 

Unu diris, " Arbo estas 

Kaj Namezo respondis, 
"Arbo ekzistas. Venu kun 
mi, kaj mi vidigos vin." 

Sed li diris, "Arbo estas 

Ree Namezo diris, " Se vi 

in short, he toiled ceaselessly, con- 
stantly varying 1 the conditions till 
he should hit off the right thing. 
At last, when he had long come 
to be a grown man, 2 his desire 
was fulfilled : 3 there beside the 
stream stood a fine big tree. 

In summer, when it was in full 
leaf, he took his friends there, and 
they rejoiced sitting in the cool 
shade at evening. In autumn 
they collected the pods, 4 took 
them to the village, and tried to 
get the villagers to plant the seed 
by their homes, to give them 
shelter. But the villagers would 
not have them. 

One said, "A tree is impos- 
sible." 5 

And Namezo answered, "A 
tree exists. Come with me, 
and I will show 6 you." 

But he said, "A tree is im- 

Again Namezo said, " If you 

1 Varying. Diverse = divers-a ; suf. -ig = to render diverse. 

2 A grown man. Age = ag-o ; full = pkn-a ; ending -a denotes adj. 
8 Was fulfilled. To fulfil = plenum-i] -* denotes becoming. 

4 Pods. Seed = sem-o ; suf. -uj denotes that which contains. 
4 Impossible. Suf. -ebl denotes possibility, and can, like all suffixes, be 
used by itself. Ne-ebl-a = not possible. 

" Show. To see = vid-i ; with suf. -ig = to cause to see. 

* For this and the following objections of the villagers, compare Part I., 
chap, xv., pp. $4'6- 



nur tiom da peno faros, kiom 
necesas por eliri el la vilago, 
mi montros al vi arbon, sub 
kiu miaj amikoj kaj mi sir- 
migas ciuvespere. Venu nur 
kaj provu se gi places ankau 
al vi." 

Sed li diris, "Mi ne volas 
eliri. Arbo estas neebla." 

Alia diris, " Mi vidis vian 
arbon, kaj mi trovas gin tute 

Kaj Namezo respondis, 
" Kial ? " 

Kaj li diris, "Niaj patroj 
ne havis arbon." 

Namezo diris, " Niaj patroj 
suferis pro manko de sirmado." 
Kaj li diris, " Tial mi ankaii 

Alia diris, " Ni havas ja 
sufice da kreskajoj. Niaj 
rikoltoj kaj legomoj provizas 
nutrajon, kaj la belaj floroj 
carmas la okulon. Alia kres- 
kajo estus superflua." 

Kaj Namezo respondis, 
"Bone. Niaj gisnunaj kres- 
kajoj plenumas la cefajn bezo- 
nojn de la homaro. Mango kaj 
certa ornamo estas necesajoj 

will only take as much trouble 1 
as is necessary to go out of the 
village, I will show you a tree, 
under which my friends and I 
take shelter every evening. Only 
just come and try whether it 
pleases you also." 

But he said, " I will not go 
out. A tree is impossible." 

Another said, "I have seen 
your tree, and I consider it per- 
fectly useless." 

And Namezo answered, 

And he said, "Our fathers had 
no trees." 

Namezo said, " Our fathers suf- 
fered from want of shelter." 

And he said, "Therefore I too 
will suffer." 

Another said, " We have enough 
plants. Our crops and vegetables 
provide food, and our gay flowers 
charm the eye. Another growing 
thing would be superfluous." 

And Namezo answered, "Good. 
The plants we have already * 
fulfil the chief needs of mankind. 
Food and some ornament are 
necessities 8 for human nature, 
and for these uses we have the 

por la homa naturo, kaj 

1 Trouble. To iry=f>en-i; ending -o makes it a substantive trying, effort. 

2 The plants we have already. Lit. our till-now plants. 

* Necessities. Necessary tieces-a : with suf. -a) necessary things. 

1 84 


por tiuj ci uzoj ni havas ri- 
koltojn kaj florojn. Sed la 
vivo estus pli plezura se ni 
estus pli bone sirmataj. Tiun 
ci apartan servon prezentas la 
arboj, kaj ni povos gui gin sen 
fordoni la profiton de floro kaj 
rikolto. Ne, plue, niaj rikoltoj, 
sirmataj de la montaj ventoj, 
pli facile maturigos : tiel ni 
havos pli da tempo por la 
plezurigaj laboroj, kaj la floroj 
estos ankorau pli belaj." 

Kaj li diris, " Tagmeze, 
kiam la suno brilas, mi kusas 
inter la altstaranta greno. Tiu 
ci sirmilo suficas. Ni havas 
sufice da kreskajoj. Arbo 
ne estas kreskajo ; gi estas 
monstro. Iru diablon ! " 

Kaj Namezo iris al la diablo, 
car li estis preta iri kien ajn, 
plivole ol daurigi paroli kun 
la vilaganoj. 

Li diris, " Via diabla Mosto, 
la vilaganoj nauzadas min, 
kaj mi estas laca je mia vivo. 
Faru el mi kion vi volas." 

crops and flowers. But life would 
be pleasanter if we were better 
sheltered. This special service * 
is done by the trees, and we can 
enjoy it without foregoing the 
advantage of flower and crop. 
Nay, more, our crops, sheltered 
from the winds that blow from 
the mountains, will ripen 2 more 
easily : thus we shall have more 
time for the work that brings 
pleasure, 3 and the flowers will 
be even more lovely." 

And he said, " At noon, 4 when 
the sun shines warm, I lie amidst 
the deep standing corn. This 
shelter is enough. We have 
plants enough. A tree is not a 
plant ; it is a monster. Go to 
the devil!" 

And Namezo went to the devil, 
for he was ready to go anywhere, 
rather than continue to talk to 
the villagers. 

He said, "Your devilish Majesty, 
the villagers make me sick, 5 and 
I am tired of 6 my life. Do with 
me as you will." 

1 Service. To serve = serv-i ; ending -o makes it a substantive. 

2 Ripen. Ripe = matur-a ; suf. -z| denotes becoming. 

8 Work that brings pleasure. Pleasure = plezur-o ; suf. -/^denotes causing 
to be. 

4 Noon. Day = tag-o ; middle = mez-o ; ending -e is adverbial. 

5 Make me sick. To make sick = nattz-i ; -ad denotes continuation. 

* Tired of. The preposition je is used when no other preposition exactly fits. 



Respondis la diablo, " Mi ne 
povas ion fari por vi, mizerulo ! 
La vilaganoj estas venkintaj 
min ; kaj mi retiras min de la 
aferoj. Neniam, ec en miaj 
plej eltrovemaj tagoj, mi el- 
pensis tiel mortigan turmenton 
por progresema homo, kiel 
sukcesi en la produkto de 
profitiga uzilo, kaj tiam devi 
penadi, por igi siajn kunulojn 
alpreni gin. Reiru al la 
vilaganoj kaj donu al ili 
miajn respektplenajn kompli- 

Pezakore, Namezo reiris 
hejmen, kaj envoje li renkontis 
vilaganaron portantan hakilojn. 
Li demandis kial ili portas 

"Por dehaki la arbon," 
respondis la grupestro ; " ni 
timas ke gi etendigos sur la 
tutan landon. Se oni prenos 
la fruktetojn kaj plantos ilin 
apud sia logejo, la arboj en- 

The devil made answer, " I can 
do nothing for you, poor wretch ! l 
The villagers have beaten me ; 
and I am retiring from business. 
Never, even in my most ingenious 8 
days, did I invent such a deadly s 
torment for a progressive man, 
as to succeed in producing a 
beneficial * device, and then have 
to keep striving to get his fellows ' 
to adopt it. Go back again to 
the villagers, and give them my 
respectful compliments." 

Heavy at heart, Namezo went 
home again, and on the way he 
fell in with a band of villagers ' 
carrying axes. 7 He asked why 
they were carrying axes. 

" To cut down the tree," replied 
the leader of the band 8 ; "we 
are afraid that it will spread and 
fill the whole land. If the people 
take the fruits and plant them 
at their own homes, 9 trees will 

1 Wretch. Misery = mizer-o ; suf. -/ denotes having the quality of. 

2 Ingenious. To find = trov-i ; out = el ; suf. -em denotes propensity or 

3 Deadly. To die = tnort-i; suf. -ig denotes to cause to die. 

4 Beneficial. Profit-causing ; suf. -ig. 

8 Fellows. With = kun ; suf. / denotes state or quality. 
8 A band of villagers. Suf. -ar denotes a collection. 

7 Axes. To hew = hak-i ; suf. -il denotes instrument. 

8 Leader of the hand. Band grup-o ; suf. -estr denotes chief of. 
Homes. To dwell = log-i ; suf. -ej denotes place. 



trudos sin en la kampojn kaj 
en la florbedojn, kaj elpusos 
la aliajn kreskajojn." 

" Sed vi tute ne devos planti 
la arbojn en la kampoj kaj 
florbedoj," diris Namezo. La 
arboj havas utilon diferencan 
de la aliaj kreskajoj kaj oni 
plantos ilin en aparta loko. 
Se okaze arbo altrudos sin 
inter la rikoltojn, oni elrad- 
ikos gin tuj, antau ol gi 

" Ne, arbo estas dangera," 
kriis la hakilistoj ; kaj Namezo 
devis alvoki siajn arnikojn por 
defendi la arbon. 

Poste Namezo iris hejmen 
kaj enfermis sin en siadometo. 
Lia patrino estis jam de longe 
morta, kaj la gefratoj jam 
edzigis, kaj li vivadis sole. 
Sed li nun ne povis ec resti 
sola. Venis la saguloj de la 
vilago, kaj ili kriadis tra la 
fenestro, " Arbo estas bona 
ideo, sed vi kreskigis vian 
arbon malprave. Lasu nin 
do flegi gin lau nia bontrovo, 
kaj ni baldau plibonigos gin, 

encroach upon the fields and 
upon the flower-beds, and will 
drive out the other plants." 

" But you must not plant the 
trees in the fields and flower- 
beds," said Namezo. " Trees 
have a different use from other 
plants, and they will be planted 
in quite separate places. If by 
chance a tree pushes itself in 
amongst the crops, it will be 
rooted out at once, before it gets 

" No, trees are dangerous," 
cried the men with the axes l ; and 
Namezo had to call up his friends 
to defend the tree. 

After this Namezo went home 
and shut himself up in his cottage. 
His mother was by this time long 
dead, and his brother and sister 2 
were now married,* and he lived 
all alone. But now he could not 
even remain alone. The wise 
men of the village came along, 
and they kept shouting through 
the window, "Trees are a good 
idea, but you have grown your 
tree the wrong way. So let us 
look after it as we see fit, and we'll 

1 The men with the axes. To hew = hak-i ; -il denotes instrument ; -ist 
denotes agent. 

2 Brother and sister. Prefix ge- denotes both sexes. 

* Were married. Husband (wife) = eds (in) -o ; suffix 'ig denotes 



tiel ke gi estos vere alpreninda 

Kaj al ili Namezo respondis 
nenion. Li sciis ke li estis 
doninta grandan parton de sia 
vivo por eksperimenti kaj estis 
produktinta belkreskan arbon, 
dum la lertuloj nun estis vi- 
dantaj arbon je la unua fojo, 
kaj tute malsciis la malfacil- 
ecojn kiujn oni devas venki, 
kaj ec ne komprenis la de- 
mandon kiun ili entreprenis 
solvi. Sed li sciis ankau ke 
tiela konsidero estas por 
lertuloj malpli ol nenio. Estis 
malutile argumenti kun ili, car 
ili ne sciis ke ili ne scias, kaj 
tio ci estas plej malfacila lerni. 
Tial li lasis ilin paroladi, kaj 
flegis sian arbon kiel antaiie. 
"Car," li diris al si mem, 
" kiam la arbo estos disvasti- 
ginta kaj multobliginta lau- 
spece tra la lando, per la grada 
sperto de multaj homoj farigos 
arba scienco, kaj tial ni fine 
ellernos la plej bonan fleg- 
manieron." Ankau li pensis, 
" La diablo estis prava : la 
diablo estas lertulo." 

lom poste alvenis en la 

soon improve 1 it, so that it shall be 
a tree really fit for us to take to."' 

And to these Namezo answered 
nothing. He knew that he had 
given a great part of his life to 
making experiment and had pro- 
duced a well grown tree, while the 
clever men were now seeing a tree 
for the first time, and were wholly 
ignorant of the difficulties that 
had to be overcome, and did 
not even understand the question 
they were undertaking to solve. 
But he also knew that to clever 
men such a consideration is less 
than nothing. It was no good to 
argue with them, for they did not 
know that they did not know, 
and this is the hardest thing to 
learn. So he let them keep on 
talking, and tended his tree as 
before. "For," said he to him- 
self, "when the tree has spread 
and multiplied after its kind 
throughout the land, from many 
men's gradual experience there 
will arise a science of trees, and 
thus we shall in the end find out 
the best way of tending them." 
Also he thought, "The devil 
was right : the devil is a clever 

Now, some time after there 

1 Improve. Good = bon-a ; more = pit ; -i[t; denotes causation. 

2 Fit to take to. To take prtn-i ; to a/; -tint denotes worthy. 



vilagon homoj el aliaj lokoj, 
kunportantaj diversajn semojn. 
6iu el ili laudis sian propran 
semon, dirante ke li estas 
kreskiginta belan arbon el tia 
semo, kaj postulante ke la 
vilaganoj plantu nur liajn 
semojn. Tiam iuj diris, " Ni 
metu ciujn la diversajn semojn 
kunen, kaj ni kreskigu el ili 
unu bonan arbon." Kaj tiuj 
ci petis Namezon ke lineniigu 
sian arbon kaj pistu giajn 
semojn kaj almiksu ilin en la 
kunmetatan semajon, por ke 
unu bona arbo elkresku. 

Tiel ili babiladis kaj batal- 
adis inter si ; kaj ili cirkau- 
iradis en la vilago, montrante 
modelojn de siaj arboj kaj 
pruvante, ciu ke la sia estas la 
plej bona. Kaj fine la vil- 
aganoj enuigis kaj denove 
volis dehaki ciun kaj cies 

Sed Namezo kaj liaj amikoj 
havis jam du aii tre grandajn 
arboj n, kaj gis nun prosperis 
al ili defendi ilin kontrau la 
atakoj de la vilaganoj. Kaj 
ciam, kiam la vetero estas 
varmega, ili sidas sub la arboj 

arrived in the village men from 
other places, bringing with them 
various seeds. Each of them 
praised his own seed, telling 
how he had grown a fine tree 
from such seed, and urging the 
villagers to plant his seeds only. 
Then certain of them said, " Let 
us put all the divers seeds to- 
gether, and let us grow from them 
one good tree." And these 
begged Namezo to destroy 1 his 
own tree and pound its seeds and 
stir them into the compound 
seedstuff, that one good tree 
might grow out of it. 

Thus they babbled and kept 
quarrelling among themselves ; 
and they went round about in the 
village showing models of their 
trees and proving each that his 
own was the best. And at last 
the villagers grew weary of it, and 
wanted again to hew down every 
tree, no matter to whom it 
belonged. 2 

But Namezo and his friends 
had by this time two or three big 
trees, and up to this day they 
have succeeded in defending 
them against the villagers' attacks. 
And always, when the weather is 
very hot, they sit under their trees 

Destroy. Nothing = neni-o ; suf.-z^- denotes causation. 
No matter to whom it belonged. Lit. every one's. 


vespere kaj guas la fresecon. in the evening and enjoy the 

Tamen ili havas nur duonan coolness. Yet have they only 

profiton el ili, car la vilaganoj half profit by them, for the 

malpermesas planti ian arbon villagers forbid them to plant any 

en la vilago, kaj tial la arbanoj tree in the village, and so the tree 

devas ciufoje marsi mal- people have to walk a long way 

proksimen kaj aparte viziti each time and have to make 

siajn arbojn, anstatau havi ilin special visits to their trees, instead 

apud siaj pordoj. of having them at their doors. 

Kaj la plej granda parto And the greater part of the 

de la vilaganoj, malgrau ke villagers, though the trees are 

oni povas facile piediri al within a walk, still say, "Trees 

la arboj, diras ankorau, " Arbo are impossible." 
estas neebla." 

Kaj la diablo ridas. And the devil laughs. 



T. THERE is one definite article, /a, invariable. There is no 
indefinite article. 

2. Nouns always end in -o. Ex. patro = father. 

3. Adjectives always end in -a. Ex. patra = paternal. 

4. The plural of nouns, adjectives, participles, and pronouns 
(except only the personal pronouns) ends in /. Ex. patroj 
fathers ; bonaj patroj = good fathers. 

5. The accusative (objective) case always ends in -. Ex. Mi 
amas mian bonan patron = I love my good father. Ni amas 
niajn bonajn patrojn = we love our good fathers. 

6. Adverbs always end in -e. Ex. done = well ; patrt - 
paternally. (There are a few non-derived adverbs without the 
ending -e, as jam, ankau, fie/, kiel). 

7. The personal pronouns are : 

mi = I if - she ni - we 

vi = you %i = it vi - you 

/;' = he oni one ili - they 


Also a reflexive pronoun, si, which always refers to the subject 
of its own clause. 

All these pronouns form the accusative case by adding -. 

8. The verb has no separate ending for person or number. 

The present ends in -as. Ex. mi amas = I love. 

The past ends in -is. Ex. vi amis = you loved. 

The future ends in -os. Ex. // amos = he will love. 

The conditional ends in -us. Ex. ni amus = we should love. 

The imperative ends in -u. Ex. amu = love ! ni amu = let us 
love. This form also serves for subjunctive. Ex. Dio ordonas 
ke ni amu unu la alian God commands us to love one another. 

The infinitive ends in -i. Ex. ami = to love. 

There are three active participles. 

The present participle active is formed by -ant. Ex. amanta 
loving ; amanto = a lover. 

The past participle active is formed by -int. Ex. aminta = having 
loved ; la skribinto = the author (lit. the man who has written). 

The future participle active is formed by -ont. Ex. amonta = 
being about to love. 

There are three passive participles. 

The present participle passive is formed by -at. Ex. amata = 
being loved. 

The past participle passive is formed by -it. Ex. amita = 
having been loved. 

The future participle passive is formed by -ot. Ex. arnota = 
being about to be loved. 

All compound tenses, as well as the passive voice, are formed 
by the verb esti (to be) with a participle. Compound tenses are 
employed only when the simple forms are inadequate. Ex. mi 
estas aminta = I have loved (lit. I am having loved); vi estis 
aminta = you had loved (lit. you were having loved) ; /// estas 
amataj they are loved ; Si estas amita = she has been loved ; 
ni estis amitaj we had been loved ; ///' estos amintaj = they will 
have loved ; si estus aminta she would have loved ; mi estus 
amita = I should have been loved. 




/. Prefixes 

bo- denotes relation by marriage : bopatro = father-in-law. 

dis- denotes dissemination, division : dismeti = to put apart, 
about, in pieces. 

ek- denotes sudden action or beginning : ekdormi = to fall 
asleep ; ekiri = to start. 

ge- denotes both sexes : gepatroj = parents ; geviroj = men and 

mal- denotes the opposite : bona = good ; malbona = bad. 

re- denotes back, again : repagi to repay ; rekomenci = to 
begin again. 

//. Suffixes 

-ad denotes continuation : penadi = to keep striving, to make 
continued effort. 

-a} denotes something concrete, made of the material, or 
possessing the qualities of the root to which it is attached : bffvo 
ox ; bovajo = beef ; okazi to happen ; okaza)oj = happenings, 
events. (For English speakers a good rule is to add " thing " or 
" stuff" to the English word ; propra = one's own, proprajo 
own-thing, property; vidindajoj = see-worthy-things, notable 

N.B. : -a) added to transitive verbal stems generally has a 
passive sense : tondi = to clip, tondajo = clipped-thing, clippings ; 
whereas tondilo = clipping-thing, shears.) See Zamenhofs ex- 
planation of -aj, La Revuo, Vol. I., No. 8 (April), pp. 374-5- 

-an denotes an inhabitant, member, or partisan : urbano a 
town-dweller ; Kristano = a Christian. 

-ar denotes a collection : vortaro = a dictionary ; arbaro a 
forest; homaro = mankind. 

-tj denotes masculine affectionate diminutives : paljo daddy ; 
Arcjo = Arthur. 


-ebl denotes possibility : kredebla credible. 

-ec denotes abstract quality : boneco = goodness. 

-eg denotes great size or intensity : grandega = enormous ; 
varmega = intensely hot. 

-ej denotes place : lernejo = a learn-place, a school. 

-em denotes propensity to : lernema studious ; kredema 

-er denotes one out of many, or a unit of a mass : sablero = a 
grain of sand ; fajrero = a spark. 

-estr denotes a chief or leader : lernejestro = a head master. 

-et denotes diminution : infaneto = a little child ; varmeta 

-/^denotes the young of, descendant of: bovido a calf. 

-ig denotes causation : bonigi, plibonigi = to make good, to 
improve ; mortigi to kill ; venigi = to cause to come, to 
send for. 

-ig denotes becoming, and has a passive signification : sanigi, 
resanigi = to get well (again) ; paligi to grow pale ; trovigi 
to be found, occur. 

-// denotes an instrument : razilo a razor. 

-in denotes feminine : patrino = mother ; bovino = cow. 

-ind denotes worthiness : latidinda laudable, praiseworthy. 

-ing denotes a holder : kandelingo = a candlestick ; glavingo = 

-ist denotes profession or occupation ; maristo = a sailor ; 
bonfaristo = a benefactor. 

-nj denotes feminine affectionate diminutives : Manjo = Polly ; 
patrinjo (or panjo) = mamma. 

-uj denotes containing or producing : inkujo = inkpot ; 
Anglujo = England. 

~ul denotes characteristic : timulo a coward : avarulo = 
a miser. 

[The suffix -at (not in the Fundamento) is coming into use as 
a pejorative ( = Italian -accio) : ridi = to laugh ; ridati = to 
grin, sneer.] 





Relative and 




Person * 


who, which 

no one 

every, all, 
every one 

some one 

Thing * 

that (thing) 

what, which 






that kind of a 


what kind of a 

no kind of 

every kind of 


some kind of 






at some time 









thus, so 


in no way 

in every way 

in some way, 




for no reason 

for all reasons 

for some reason 


so \much 
as /many 

how much 
how many 


the whole amount 

a certain amount 


of that 

of which 




In the demonstrative column, to express " this" instead of " that," add W. 

* N.B. Tiu, kiu, etc., are used in agreement with a noun expressed, eren 
when it does not represent a person. 

Ex. Tiu libra, kiun mi legis that book which I read. 
Tiuj tifloroj = these flowers. 

Tio, kio, etc., are used when there is no noun, so that they stand alone. 

Ex. Tio estas vera - that is true ; kion vi diritl what did you say ? Ti h' 
estas pli granda ol tio this is bigger than that. 

N.B. In memorizing the above, it is well to remember that / demonstrative, 
k = relative-interrogative, ? - distributive, i - indefinite, tun - negative. 





-a, termination of adjectives. 

atet-i, to buy. 

-ad, suffix denoting continued 

aer-o, air. 

ag-i, to act. 

-a}, suffix denoting concrete 

ajn, (what)ever; kiu ajn, who- 

a/, to. 

ali-a, other. 

almenau, at least. 

alt-a, high. 

am-i, to love. 

amas-0, crowd, mass. 

ankau, also. 

ankorau, still. 

anstatau, instead of. 

-ant, present participle active. 

antaii, before (time and place). 

apart-a, special. 

apud, at. 

-ar, suffix denoting a collection. 

arb-o, tree. 

-as, ending of present tense. 

aud-i, to hear. 


bafdau, soon. 
bed-o, flower-bed. 

bd-a, fine, beautiful. 
bezon-o, need. 
blank- a, white. 
bon-a, good. 
bord-o, edge, shore. 
bril-i, to shine. 
burgon-o, bud. 

cel-o, object, aim. 
cerb-o, brain. 
cert-a, certain. 

cagren-o, trouble. 

far, for, because. 

ce, at. 

ces-i, to cease. 

, added to demonstrative //, 
expresses nearer connexion : 
// = that ; tiu a = this. 

?/rtw, always. 

tie, everywhere. 

tirkaii, around. 

tiu, all, each, every. 

tit, interrogative particle. 


da, used after words of quantity : 
Ex. multe da vino, much wine. 
daur-i, to last, continue. 
de, of, from, by (with passive). 


des, comparative particle ; ju 
. . . des, the . . . the : 
Ex. ju pli des plibone, the 
more the better. 

dev-i, to owe, to be obliged 

deviz-o, device, motto. 

difekt-i, to spoil. 

dir-i, to say. 

dom-o, house. 

don-i, to give. 

du, two. 

dub-i, to doubt. 

dum, whilst. 


-e, ending of adverbs. 
tben-a, flat, level. 
-ebl, suffix denoting possibility. 
-ec, suffix denoting abstract 

quality : bon-ec-o, goodness. 
et, even. 

edz-(in)-o, husband (wife). 
-eg, suffix denoting great size. 
-ej, suffix denoting place. 
ek-, prefix denoting beginning. 
ekster, outside. 
el, out of. 

-em, suffix denoting propensity. 
en, in. 

entrepren-i, to undertake. 
enu-i, to weary, bore. 
esper-i, to hope. 
Esperant-o, Esperanto. 
st-i, to be. 

-et, suffix denoting little. 
etend-i, to stretch. 


facil-a, easy. 

fajr-o, fire. 

fakt-o, fact. 

far-i, to do. 

fenestr-o, window. 

ferm-i, to shut. 

fil-o, son. 

fin-o, end. 

flank-o, side. 

fleg-i, to tend. 

y?-/, to flow. 

flug-i, to fly. 

^y-o, time ; dufojoj, twice. 

foli-o, leaf. 

/0r, away. 

forn-o, oven. 

frato, brother. 

fraz-o, sentence. 

frenez-o, madness. 

fru-a, early. 

frukt-o, fruit. 


*-, prefix denoting both sexes. 
gent-o, race, tribe. 
grand-a, big, great. 

^tf, until. 
goj-o, joy. 
^w-i, to enjoy. 




hav-i, to have. 
hejm-o, home. 
hodiau, to-day. 

hom-o, man (mortal; no dis- 
tinction of sex). 

-/, ending of infinitive. 

ideal-o, ideal. 

-ig, suffix denoting causation. 

-ig, suffix denoting becoming. 

-//, suffix denoting instrument. 

Hi, they. 

-int, past participle active. 

inter, between, among. 

ir-i, to go. 

-is, ending of past tense. 

-ist, suffix denoting agent. 

iu, some one. 


-j, ending of plural. 
jam, already. 
jar-o, year. 
jen, here is, here are (French 

Ju, comparative particle. See 

jun-a, young. 


Jus, just now. 


kaj, and. 

kamen-o, fireplace. 

kamp-o, field. 

kap-o, head. 

kc, that (conjunction). 

kelk-a, some. 

kiam, when. 

kiel, how, as. 

kiu, who, which. 

knab-o, boy. 

komerc-o, commerce. 

kompat-o, sympathy, pity. 

kompren-i, to understand. 

kon-i, to know. 

konsil-i, to counsel. 

konstru-i, to build. 

kontrau, against. 

kred-i, to believe. 

kresk-i, to grow. 

krorn, besides. 

krut-a, steep. 

kun, with. 

kus-i, to lie. 

kutim-i, to be accustomed. 

kvankam, although. 

kuar, four. 

kvazau, as if. 

kvin, five. 

la, the. 
lac-a, tired. 
lag-o, lake. 



land-o, land. 
lang-o, tongue. 
las-i, to let, leave. 
tau, according to. 
leg-i, to read. 
legom-o, vegetable. 
lern-i, to learn. 
lert-a, clever. 
lev-i, to raise. 
It, he. 
lim-o, limit. 
lingv-o, language. 
lit-o, bed. 
long-a, long. 
lum-o, light. 


mal-, prefix denoting the oppo- 

malgraii, in spite of. 
mang-i, to eat. 
mank-i t to be wanting. 
mar-o, sea. 
mart-o, swamp. 
maten-o, morning. 
mem, self. 
*/-/, to put. 
mez-o, middle. 
mi, I. 

mien-o, look, air, gait. 
mir-i, to wonder. 
mon-o, money. 
mond-o, world. 
montr-i, to show. 
morgau, to-morrow. 

AfoSt-o, term of respect : your 
Highness, Worship, Honour. 
mult-a, much, many. 


-, ending of accusative ; also 
denotes motion towards and 
duration of time. 

naci-o, nation. 

nask-i, to beget 

ne t no, not. 

neg-o, snow. 

neniam, never. 

neniu, no one. 

/', we. 

nom-o, name. 

nov-a, new. 

nub-o, cloud. 

nun, now. 

nur, only. 

nutr-t, to feed. 


-0, ending of nouns. 

oft-e, often. 

ok, eight. 

ofaz/', to happen. 

okul-o, eye. 

<7/, than. 

-<m, suffix denoting fraction. 

<?/', one, people (indef. pron.). 

-on/, future participle active. 

orel-o, ear. 

-o^, ending of future. 


pac-o, peace. 

parol-i, to speak. 

pen-i, to try. 

pens-i) to think. 

per, by means of. 

perd-i, to lose. 

pez-a, heavy. 

pied-o, foot. 

pint-o, point, peak. 

pist-i, to pound. 

plac-i, to please. 

plat-a, flat. 

plej, most. 

plen-a, full. 

plend-i, to complain. 

plenum-i, to fulfil. 

///, more. 

/>/, more, further, farther. 

plug-i, to plough. 

popol-o, people, race. 

/0r, for. 

pord-o, door. 

/, after, behind (time and 
*, to be able. 

pra, original, great-grand- 

prav-a t right. 

pren-i, to take. 

preskau, almost. 

pret-a, ready. 

prefer, beyond, by. 

pri, about, concerning. 

pro, on account of. 


rakont-i, to narrate. 
ramp-i, to crawl, climb. 
rapid-a, quick. 
rekt-a, straight. 
rem-i, to row. 
renkont-i, to meet. 
renvers-i, to upset, overthrow. 
rikolt-o, crop. 

saf-a, satisfied, full, replete. 

sci-i, to know. 

sed, but. 

sek-a, dry. 

sekv-i, to follow. 

,re#/-0, seed. 

^, without. 

senf-i, to feel. 

, self, reflexive pronoun. 

sid-i, to sit. 

sinjor-o, sir, Mr., gentleman. 

skrib-i, to write. 

^(3/-a, alone, only. 

son-o, sound. 

song-o, dream. 

sonor-a, sonorous. 

spec-o, kind, sort. 

spert-o, experience. 

spir-i, to breathe. 

star-i, to stand. 

sterk-o, manure. 

subit-a, sudden. 

sufic-a, sufficient. 



supr-a, upper, superior. 
sven-i, to swoon. 

sajn-i, to seem. 

Serc-i, to joke. 

sip-o, ship. 

sirm-i, to shelter. 

spar-i, to save up, economize. 

stel-i, to steal. 

tag-o, day. 

tatnen, yet, nevertheless. 
tegment-o t roof. 
temp-o, time. 
ten-i, to hold, keep. 
ter-o, earth. 
tial, therefore. 
tiel, thus, so. 
tiotn, so much, so many. 
tiu, that. 
tra, through. 
traf-i, to hit the mark. 
trans t across. 
tre, very. 

trem-i) to tremble, 
/w, too much. 
tromp-i) to deceive. 
trov-i t to find. 
/r</-/, to shove, thrust. 
//', immediately, 
/-a, all. 


-, ending of imperative-sub- 

-uj, suffix denoting " holder." 

-w/, suffix denoting character- 

unu, one. 

vapor-o> steam. 
vek-i, to wake (trans.) 

, sail. 

-dy faded. 

/, to come. 
venk-i t to conquer. 
vent-o t wind, 
tw-a, true. 
vesjvr-o, evening. 
vetur-i, to travel by vehicle 

(train, carriage, boat, etc.). 
vi, you. 
vid-t\ to see. 
vidv-(in}-o, widow(er). 
vir-(in)-o, man(woman). 
vfv-f, to live. 
voj-o, way. 

vojag-o, voyage, journey. 
vokal-o t vowel. 
w/-i, to wish. 
vorn-i, to vomit, be sick. 
) word. 

iorg-0 : care. 




WORD-BUILDING can be made quite an amusing game for children. 
For instance, give them the suffixes -ej (denoting place) and -// 
(denoting instrument), and set them to form words for " school," 
" church," " factory," " knife," " warming-pan," etc. (lernejo, 
pregejo, fabrikejo, trantilo^ varmigilo). 

But since the language is perfectly regular in form and con'- 
struction, and the learner can therefore argue from case to case, 
it is a useful instrument for instilling clear ideas of grammatical 
categories. Thus give the roots 

viv-i = to live san-a = healthy hom-o = man 

long-a = long sag-a = wise Di-o = God 

don-i = to give 

and set such sentences as the following to be worked out 

"He lives long"; "A long life is a gift of God"; "It is wise 
to live healthily"; "God is divine, man is human"; "Human 
life is short," etc. 

The same roots constantly recur with an -o, -a, or -e tacked on ; 
and the practice in sorting out the endings, and attaching them 
like labels to nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs, soon marks 
off the corresponding ideas clearly in the learner's mind. 

Analogous to simple sums and conducive to clear thinking 
are such sentences as the following, for rather more advanced 
pupils : 


raz-i = to shave 
akr-a sharp 
uz-i = to use 

serv-i =* to serve 
mort-i = to die 
hak-i = to hew 
sent-i = to feel 

san-a = healthy 
ven-i = to come 
kun = with 

and the table of affixes (pp. 191-2). 


Translate "Constant use had blunted his razor"; "He had 
his servant shaved " ; " He killed his companion with an axe " ; 
" Let us send for the doctor." 

More advanced exercise (on the same roots) : 

Translate " O Death, where is thy sting ? " " Community 
of service brings together men subject to death, and dulls the 
perception of their common mortality. Willing service dissipates 
the weariness of the server ; the deadliness of disease is mitigated, 
and the place of sickness becomes a place of health." 

By referring to the table of affixes, the use of which has of 
course been explained, the learner can work out the answers 
as follows : 

Uz-ad-o estis mal-akr-ig-int-a lian raz-il-on. 

Li raz-ig-is sian serv-ant-(0r ist)on. 

Li mort-ig-is sian kun-ul-on per hak-il-o. 

Ni ven-ig-u la sari-ig-ist-on. 

More advanced : 

Ho Morto, kie estas via akr-ec-o ? 

Kun-servo (or kuneco de servo) kun-ig-as la mort-em-(ul)-ojn, 
kaj mal-akr-ig-as la sent-on de ilia kun-a mort-em-ec-o. Serv- 
em-ec-o dis-ig-as la el-uz-it-ec-on de la serv-ant-o ; la mort-ig-ec-o 
de la mal-san-ec-o mal-akr-ig-as, kaj la mal-san-ej-o igas san-ej-o. 

No national language could be used in this way for building 
sentences according to rules, and such exercises should give a 
practical grip of clear use of language. The student is obliged 
to analyse the exact meaning of every word of the English 
sentence, and this necessity inculcates a nice discrimination in 
the use of words. At the same time the necessary word-building 
depends upon clear-headed and logical application of rule. 
There is no memory work, but the mind is kept on the stretch, 
and the exercise is wholesome as combating confusion of thought 
and slovenliness of expression. 




La Espero 

EN la mondon venis nova sento, 
Tra la mondo iras forta voko ; 
Per flugiloj de facila vento 
Nun de loko flugu gi al loko. 
Ne al glavo sangon soifanta 
Gi la homan tiras familion : 
Al la mond' eterne militanta 
Gi promesas sanktan harmonion. 
Sub la sankta signo de 1'espero 
Kolektigas pacaj batalantoj, 
Kaj rapide kreskas la afero 
Per laboro de la esperantoj. 
Forte staras muroj de miljaroj 
Inter la popoloj dividitaj ; 
Sed dissaltos la obstinaj baroj, 
Per la sankta amo disbatitaj. 
Sur neiitrala lingva fundamento, 
Komprenante unu la alian, 
La popoloj faros en konsento 
Unu grandan rondon familian. 
Nia diligenta kolegaro 
En laboro paca ne lacigos, 
Gis la bela songo de 1'homaro 
Por eterna ben' efektivigos. 




Into the world has come a new feeling, 
Through the world goes a mighty call; 
On light wind-wings 
Now may it fly from place to place. 

Not to the sword thirsting for blood 

Does it draw the human family : 

To the world eternally at war 

It promises holy harmony. 
Beneath the holy banner of hope 
Throng the soldiers of peace, 
And swiftly spreads the Cause 
Through the labour of the hopeful. 

Strong stand the walls of a thousand years 

Between the sundered peoples ; 

But the stubborn bars shall leap apart, 

Battered to pieces by holy love. 
On the fair foundation of common speech, 
Understanding one another, 
The peoples in concord shall make up 
One great family circle. 

Our busy band of comrades 

Shall never weary in the work of peace, 

Till humanity's grand dream 

Shall become the truth of eternal blessing. 




c = ts in English "bits." 

This has given rise to much criticism. The same sound is 
also expressed by the letters ts. Why depart from the Esperanto 
principle, " one sound, one letter," and have two symbols (c and 
ts} for the same sound ? 

A standing difficulty of an international language is : What 
equivalent shall be adopted for the c of national languages ? The 
difficulty arises owing to the diversity of value and history of the c 
in diverse tongues. Philologists, who know the history of the 
Latin hard c and its various descendants in modern languages, 
will appreciate this. 

(1) Shall c be adopted in the international language, or omitted ? 
If it is omitted, many useful words, which it is desirable to adopt 
and which are ordinarily spelt with a c, will have to be arbitrarily 
deformed, and this deformation may amount to actual obscuring 
of their sense. E.g. cento hundred ; centra = centre ; cerbo = 
brain ; certa = certain ; cirkonstanco circumstance ; civila = 
civil, etc. Such words would become almost unrecognizable for 
many in the forms kento, sento, zento, tsento, etc. 

(2) If, then, c is retained, what value is to be given to it ? The 
hard and soft sounds of the English c (as in English "cat," 
" civil ") are already represented by k and s. Neither of these 
letters can be dispensed with in the international language ; and 
it is undesirable to confuse orthographically or phonetically 
^-roots with s- or -roots. Therefore another value must be 
found for the symbol c. The choice is practically narrowed down 
to the Italian soft c = ch, as in English " church," and the German * 
= ts in English " bits." Now ch is a useful and distinctive 
sound, and has been adopted in Esperanto with a symbol of its 
own : c. Therefore ts remains. 

* Also late Latin and early Norman French. 


(3) Why not then abolish c and write ts instead ? For answer, 
see No. (i) above. It is a worse evil to introduce such 
monstrosities as tscnto, tsivila, etc., than to allow two symbols for 
the same sound, ts and c. International language has to appeal 
to the eye as well as to the ear. 

This matter of the c is only one more instance of the wisdom 
of Dr. Zamenhof in refusing to make a fetish of slavish adherence 
to rule. Practical common-sense is a safer guide than theory in 
attaining the desired goal ease (of eye, ear, tongue, and pen) 
for greatest number. In practice no confusion arises between 
c and ts. 



Clark, Walter John 

International language, past, 
C55 present & future